Early Sunday morning ferry cancelled

The Queen of Cowichan’s 6:15 a.m. sailing from Departure Bay has been cancelled, as well as the 8:25 a.m. sailing from Horseshoe Bay. The vessel requires additional overnight maintenance that cannot be completed in the regularly scheduled night shift maintenance cycle. It will resume service with its 10:40 a.m. sailing, B.C. Ferries said.

Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020

FIT TO STAND TRIAL – The man charged of crashing his pickup into buildings and cars at Country Club Centre on Jan. 6 is fit to stand trial, says his lawyer. Joshua Tyler Schaeffer, 38, is charged with dangerous driving and mischief endangering life. Bert King, Schaeffer’s legal counsel, previously asked for an assessment for his client, which took place a week ago.

STUDENT INJURED BY CAR – A student who was hit by a pickup truck in front of a north Nanaimo elementary school Wednesday spent the night in hospital. Nanaimo RCMP Victim Services is assisting those involved in the collision and the investigation is continuing. 

VICTORIA’S BATTLE AGAINST plastic bags has hit a major roadblock. The Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear Victoria’s appeal to a decision that struck down its plastic-bag bylaw. But the city is not backing down. Mayor Lisa Help said there are other avenues to eliminate plastic checkout bags and reduce waste in the community. She said the ban eliminated more than 17 million plastic bags from the landfill. Victoria had won in B.C. Supreme Court but lost at the B.C. Court of Appeal.

LOCAL CONNECTION – The  C130 water bomber which crashed Wednesday in Australia was owned by Coulson Aviation of Port Alberni, which had leased it to the Australian government. Three American firefighters were killed. Company president Britton Coulson told CTV News Vancouver Island earlier this month that Coulson had "pretty much all" of its aircraft in Australia as part of the firefighting effort, including two C-130s. Coulson has significant operations based in Oregon.
Firefighting plane crashes in Australia, killing 3 Americans 

CONGRATULATIONS to Ladysmith’s Pamela Anderson who got married on the weekend to Hollywood film producer Jon Peters.

 

Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s medical imaging capabilities are taking a big step forward with the arrival of a new magnetic resonance imaging suite. A $1.97 million MRI magnet was delivered Tuesday in the new addition near the emergency department. It’s the second new MRI installed at NRGH within the last year and will lead to reduced repeat exams and improve the experience for patients.

PUBLIC ART – Ten artworks have been given the green light for the 2020 temporary outdoor public art program.  Council approved the artworks from among 36 proposals from a variety of artists and teams across Canada. They will be installed throughout the City in May. The artwork program has been active since 2010. 
Learn about the city's temporary public art program 
https://cnan.ca/2sw69sr 
View the city's public art inventory 
https://cnan.ca/2jppnLS

REAL ESTATE - There’s no ceiling in sight for real estate in Nanaimo as the average price has gone up another two per cent in the past 12 months. 67 single family homes sold in December at an average price of $566,023. Four lots were sold along 32 condos sold. The average condo sold for $375,556. Lot sales volume is up by 35%. Lot prices have also decreased. Average lot sale price was $282,564. Most active regions continue to be North Nanaimo & Departure Bay with the highest average price inCedar $833,467. 

 

Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Crystal Giesbrecht of Nanaimo can now afford a real 40th birthday bash, thanks to a half-million bucks she won in last Wednesday’s BC/49 draw when she matched all four Extra numbers. She plans to pay off her car, and then a holiday in March to celebrate her birthday with friends, probably to Mexico, where she’s never been. “It’s my 40th birthday, so we’re going to go party,” she said.

CHANGING LANDSCAPE - There’s a new look coming to Terminal Avenue – a proposed mixed-use development is moving forward. City council approved a development permit for a five-storey, 29-unit residential building and café/restaurant at 930 Terminal Ave., next to the Colonial Motel. The proposed design calls 11 one-bedroom units, 18 two-bedroom units, three three-bedroom live-work townhouse units and a 2,000-square-foot ground-floor café restaurant with an outdoor patio at the corner of Terminal Avenue and Cypress Street.  A rooftop garden and club room for residents, underground parking and bike parking are also in the plans.

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE January luncheon was cancelled due to the weather. The chamber is working to get a new date for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers presentation on Indigenous Relations. The Jan. 29, luncheon will feature Carol Anne Hilton, CEO of The Indigenomics Institute. Luncheon tickets purchased earlier can be applied this event:  

CLEANING UP DOWNTOWN - Misty Potzkai spends two hours a day in the downtown and Old City Quarter business district  cleaning up sneedle and trash.  She typically sees three to four large garbage bags and a small pail of needles. The 35 year old is part of a team of eight people employed through Clean Sweep, mid island chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) who were hired in mid November. Ian Holmes at NanaimoNewsNOW has the story

ICBC TO GRADE BODY SHOPS - The province is planning to bring in preferential ranking of glass repair and collision shops. ICBC said the program will rank businesses on levels such as how appropriately the shops charge for repairs, modern training and equipment, customer service and choosing to fix glass chips instead of replacing the windshield whenever possible. The province said the changes will lead to greater efficiency, faster processing times and lower costs for B.C. drivers. The change comes after ICBC has faced criticism for sky-high premiums for young drivers from changes to the system made last fall. Once available, customers will be able to see the rankings on ICBC’s shop locator webpage.

Monday, Jan. 20, 2020 – 10-day forecast 

Monday, Jan. 20, 2020

GOOD MORNING – There’s nothing like a few days of weather mayhem to put the spotlight on the volunteer services in our community. Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, Nanaimo Station 27 volunteers spend thousands of hours training for missions they hope they will never have to respond to. We think that nobody would go out on the water in weather like we just went through, but the volunteers train regularly in that type of weather – wind, rain and snow.

It’s much the same story with land-based search and rescue. They are called on during the worst of times and conditions over unfriendly terrain and weather. These are the volunteers who give long hours of their time for preparation and readiness for the job to back up the professional services like police, fire, ambulance and the city's public works. We always want those services regardless of the elements.

Social services volunteers do their job regularly, but the demands increase when the weather takes a turn for the worse and food banks and emergency shelters kick in. Thanks to all of them we live in a better society because of them.

IF IT AIN’T BROKE – The regional district’s alternate electoral area directors process is working just fine, thank you. So they won’t respond to a survey on the role and function of alternate directors to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Coombs, Hilliers, Errington, Whiskey Creek, Meadowood director Leanne Salter put it succinctly that the system isn’t broken, so don’t mess with it. Nanoose Bay director Bob Rogers said individual directors could respond if they wished.

FAR AFIELD - Our member of Parliament Paul Manly is off to Wet’suwet’en territory to meet hereditary chiefs opposed to the Coastal GasLink. Paul was also scheduled to touch base with the RCMP in Smithers and Houston. The Coastal GasLink will run close to 700 kilometres from Dawson Creek to Kitimat, where an LNG terminal is located. His travel mate is B.C. Green Party interim leader Adam Olsen.

Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The gentle warm rain is making fast work of the massive amount of snow we had, and that has city crews focussing on catch basins which can cause flooking. The heavy snow will leave a lot of water, and plugged drains can make for serious problems. If you see a problem area and you can clear it, by all means go ahead rather than wait for the busy city crews.

OUT WITH THE OLD – The Nanaimo Regional District’s transit select committee is trying to decide whether to make the switch – from diesel to gas-powered HandiDart buses. The district gets the buses from B.C. Transit for $18,500 per year, replacing them every five to seven years. This time around, B.C. Transit seeks to purchase new light-duty, gas-powered buses. HandyDart vehicles have ramps, but the new buses will have rear side lifts, which will give riders easier access. The buses will have high floors, which will give users a better ride due to conventional suspension design and are expected to be cheaper with lower maintenance costs. The committee will discuss the plan Jan. 21.

STAR GAZING ­– Jon Willis, associate professor at University of Victoria’s department of physics and astronomy, will be the speaker at the Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s January meeting Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. at Beban Park social centre. Willis suggests a strong likelihood that Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s moon Enceladus could harbour life in their oceans. Wills It’s possible life might be found anywhere there’s salty water, even in the oceans on moons in our outer Solar System. He has a special interested in astrobiology,  the search for life beyond Earth. 

Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO, AND GABRIOLA - The first of the new Island Class electric ferries was due to arrive in Victoria today. Island Class ferries will service four routes by mid-2020, two of them on the Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island route. Community introductions will be done by BC Ferries, beginning Feb. 26 in Nanaimo and Feb. 27 on Gabriola Island. These sessions will include updates on Nanaimo and Gabriola terminal work. 
The Island Class ferries are battery-powered. These ships will operate as all-electric ferries when electric charging technology matures. In the interim, they will use a low-sulphur diesel hybrid system. The new ferry will carry 47 vehicles and 300 - 450 passengers and crew depending on configuration. 

CITY CATCHING UP – This weather played havoc with city services this week, especially refuse collection. A number of scheduled pickups were cancelled as City crews focussed on bus stops, stairs and pedestrian bridges. The City is adding an additional bag pickup at the next scheduled collection. You can sign up for Service Alerts as notifications on the Nanaimo Recycles app, or through the My Schedule tool on the city’s website to be sent as emails, text messages or phone calls. Download the free Nanaimo Recycles app from the App Store and Google Play. If your pick-up was missed, you can set out one extra garbage bag on your next scheduled collection day. Additional instructions and answers can be found in the links.

THINGS AT VIU – Dr. Tim Green, Vancoouver Island University’s Canada Research Chair in Shellfish Health and Genomics, is developing new tools to help forecast and prevent norovirus contamination of farmed oysters thanks to $300,000 in funding from Genome British Columbia and the BC Ministry of Agriculture. Norovirus is highly contagious and causes gastroenteritis. It is not a natural marine virus and can be introduced into the environment through things like human sewage, either because of wastewater treatment plants, malfunctioning septic tanks and sewers, or recreational and commercial vessels. Green says there have been norovirus outbreaks in the past and his research will help industry partners make faster, more informed decisions about whether it is safe to harvest their product. FULL STORY

HERE'S THE PROOF – Vancouver Island is renown as the best in Canada for many things and now you can add whisky to that list. Shelter Point Distillery won the award for Best All-Rye Whisky in Canada at the 10th annual Canadian Whisky Awards in Victoria this week. Shelter Point, of Campbell River, beat rival distilleries from across Canada to take the crown for its single cask rye. They also won gold medals for single cask rye and for its recently-released Smoke Point single grain whisky, finished in ex-Laphroaig barrels from Islay in Scotland. On top of that, Shelter Point captured silver and bronze medals Shelter Point also took a bunch of silver and b ronze medals.

VICTIM WITH BASEBALL BAT CHASES CREDIT CARD THIEVES

NEW CHILD CARE SPACES INCLUDE DRUG TREATMENT

MAN WITH GUN ATTEMPTS TO ROB LIQUOR STORE

PECKFORD - PARAMEDICS CAN'T AFFORD TO LIVE IN VANCOUVER

FELDSTED - TRUDEAU'S POSTURING NOT HELPFUL IN AIR CRASH PROBE

SNOW AND WIND WARNING FOR TONIGHT
Friday, Jan. 17 - Environment Canada has issued another snowfall warning for Nanaimo with 10 to 15 cm of snow for tonight through to Saturday morning. They have also warned that the  storm will have strong winds.

Friday, Feb. 17, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The City and its former chief operations officer Brad McRae have resolved their dismissal suit. Financial terms regarding the settlement were not disclosed. McRae was hired by the city in 2016 and was fired in January 2018 after spending weeks on medical leave. The former COO launched a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, accusing the city of violating his human rights by holding a termination hearing that he couldn’t attend due to medical reasons and then firing him without cause.He also filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming he was fired because of his “refusal to co-operate in covering up” misuse of corporate credit cards.

NO SHORTCUT TO PLANNING – City council isn't ready to decide on what to do about Opal Drive where the city blocked off access for vehicles coming from Rock City Road. The work was done in September following pressure from Opal Road residents who argued that traffic volume and speed were too high. The traffic calming reduced traffic on Opal Road from 1,330 vehicles per day to 620. Council on Monday asked for another staff report without making a decision.

Man with gun attempts to rob liquor store –  A liquor store clerk was not injured when a man with a gun attempted to rob the Quarterway Liquor Store on Wednesday. Cst. Gary O’Brien said the female store clerk was threatened with a gun and thrown to the ground. She got up and ran to the neighbouring pub to alert staff.

Snowfall was a record breaker – Nanaimo Airport set new benchmarks on both Tuesday and Wednesday, for snowfall within a 24-hour period on those dates. The airport recorded 21.2 centimetres on Tuesday, beating the old record of 19.1 centimetres set in 1951.

Friday morning update

SNOWFALL WARNING
Snow at times heavy becoming mixed with rain overnight. Local blowing snow. Snowfall amount 10 to 15 cm. Wind southeast 30 km/h increasing to 40 to 60 late this evening. Low zero with temperature rising to plus 2 by morning.

TONIGHT – Snow at times heavy becoming mixed with rain overnight. Local blowing snow. Snowfall amount 10 to 15 cm. Wind southeast 30 km/h increasing to 40 to 60 late this evening. Low zero with temperature rising to plus 2 by morning.

SATURDAY – Rain except snow inland early in the morning. Wind southeast 40 to 60 km/h diminishing to 30 early in the afternoon.

CITY OF NANAIMO
Garbage/recycling collection will resume with regular scheduled routes today once temperatures climb above freezing. If road conditions pose risk to workers or residents, collection of the carts on your street may be delayed.

All facilities are open. Registered programs are running with some cancellations due to instructor availability. Please contact our switchboard to confirm if your program is running: 250-756-5200.

A warming centre at the 7-10 Club (285 Prideaux Street) will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on January 17. The City of Nanaimo thanks our partners at the 7-10 Club and the Salvation Army for their help with this short-term initiative.

ALL VIU LOCATIONS OPEN
Friday, January 17, 2020: All VIU campuses (Nanaimo, Cowichan and Powell River) and the Parksville/Qualicum Centre are open today, Friday, January 17, for classes and regular business. The G.R. Paine Horticultural Centre, Milner Gardens and Woodland, and the Deep Bay Marine Field Station are also open.

SCHOOL DISTRICT
SD68 is open and busses are running. But please use your own discretion if you feel its unsafe to get your child(ren) to school. Please just call the school after 8am to share that your child will be absent. Be safe everyone .

Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020

LATE BREAKING NEWS – The highest court in the land has struck down British Columbia's  attempt to stop the Trans Mountain Pipeline. The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously rejected British Columbia’s move to regulate the flow of heavy oil across its borders, which resolves one of the last court challenges to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. FULL STORY

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO –  We're beginning another day like yesterday, and weather warnings continue in spite of the melting snow this morning. Keep up to date on what's open and what's not in the section above. We'll update it throughout the day as conditions improve.

LET'S HAVE A DRINK – You can rest easy when it comes to Nanaimo’s drinking water and its infrastructure. Our water is safe and does not contain lead, assures Bill Sims General Manager, Engineering and Public Works. National media have aired a series of reports questioning the safety of municipal drinking water in Canada. This issue was an effort of media and journalism schools where the students knocked on doors of older homes and sampled tap water for lead. Modern plumbing fixtures and solder are generally lead-free.

CONGRATULATIONS to Shelley Legin on being appointed General Manager, Corporate Services, for the city. The former Chief Financial Officer and Vice-President of Administration at VIU has a strong background in finance, risk and emergency management, public relations, strategy development, and governance. She begins her new role on Monday. 

CRIME STOPPERS IS 30 - Nanaimo and District Crime Stoppers marks its 30th birthday this year. The voluntary organization pays rewards for tips made anonymously that lead to arrests. More than 9,800 tips have helped chalk up 550 arrests, $1.4 million worth of recovered property and $19,600 in cash and has taken $9.2 million worth of illegal drugs of the streets. Crime Stoppers co-ordinator Const. Gary O’Brien says tips were up almost 10 per cent last year and approved more than $3,000 in cash rewards to tipsters. Crime Stoppers is directly linked to the seizure of nearly 40 weapons. Crime Stoppers expanded its partnership with the city in combatting bike theft, with the installation of signs on Nanaimo’s cycling and multi-use trails that listed contact information for Crime Stoppers and promoted Project 529 Garage, a bicycle registry program that helps prevent theft of bicycles and recovery of stolen bikes.

GET READY TO PARTY – Nanaimo city council approved a Downtown Event Grant of $15,000 for muralists Lauren Semple and Lys Glassford of Humanity in Art and the Humanity in Community Foundation to launch a new Hub City Walls festival.  The two transformed the A&B Sound building into an Urban Art Gallery in 2018 and are planning five new murals and a festival to downtown Nanaimo this summer Aug. 5-15. Murals will be painted on walls in Nanaimo’s art district. On the last day, there will be a block party featuring art, music and dancing. The inaugural event will take place from Aug. 5 to 15. During that time five murals will be painted on walls in Nanaimo’s art district. On the last day, the murals’ completion will be celebrated with a block party featuring art, music and dancing.

WAIT FOR IT – PEG Developments has scheduled a ground breaking ceremony on Jan. 29 for its proposed $23-million, nine-storey Courtyard by Marriott hotel at 100 Gordon St., across from the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.  PEG bought the Gordon Street property from the City  in 2017 and construction on the hotel was expected to begin in 2019, but had been delayed repeatedly.

Thursday, Jan. 16

BC FERRIES Horseshoe Bay - Departure Bay sailings have resumed.

VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIVERSITY
January 16 – Vancouver Island University’s Nanaimo campus, Cowichan campus and Trades Centre, Parksville-Qualicum Centre, G.R. Paine Horticultural Centre, and Milner Gardens and Woodland will remain closed for the rest of today (Thursday, January 16, 2020) while crews work to improve conditions. Powell River remains open. The next update will be tomorrow morning (Friday, January 17, 2020) by 6:30 am.

SCHOOL DISTRICT
The weather has improved and the main roads have been cleared, however walking or driving to school may still be a challenge, especially on rural and side streets, therefore all NLPS schools are closed today (January 16, 2020).

WARMING CENTRE
A warming centre at the 7-10 Club (285 Prideaux Street) will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, and Friday. The City thanks our the 7-10 Club and the Salvation Army for their help with this short-term initiative.

GARBAGE/RECYLCING
Cancelled for Thursday. Please ensure your bins are brought in from the curb to make room for plows.

In the coming days, as the weather and road conditions improve, we will put out updates on how the City will accommodate for the missed collection. These updates will be posted as Service Alerts on the My Schedule tool and Nanaimo Recycles app, Announcements on the City of Nanaimo homepage, our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

On the Roads
City crews are out a all day, focusing on clearing emergency and priority routes. If possible, please avoid travel. 

TRANSIT SERVICE
RDN Transit Service Update - 7:45 am. Road conditions are a bit slippery.  Here are the latest affected routes. Please expect trip delays and a few detours. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience. Stay tuned for more updates.

What's on and what's not due to weather conditions

MORE SNOW COMING – There's more snow on the way. Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for the east coast of Vancouver Island from Duncan to Nanaimo, with 20-30 centimetres  expected to fall overnight. There is also a wind warning in effect in the region with winds of 70-90 kilometres per hour will spread north from Greater Victoria, reaching the mid Island on Wednesday night. The winds are expected to shift southwest in the early hours Thursday and ease Thursday morning.

BC FERRIES - All major routes are cancelled as of 3 p.m. due to high wind forecasts. Gabriola Ferry listed as continuing on time and on schedule.

DRIVING CONDITIONS – Extreme winter weather continues to affect travel on Vancouver Island. With high winds and blowing snow forecast through tonight and into Thursday, motorists are advised to avoid all but essential travel.
A travel advisory applies to the following Vancouver Island routes:
* Highway 1 from Nanaimo south to Victoria
* Highway 4 west to Taylor River
* Highway 19 north to Tsitika (approximately 100 km north of Campbell River)
* A travel advisory is also in effect for Highways 14, 17 and 18. The ministry will reassess conditions on Thursday morning.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure advises travellers to expect winter conditions for the rest of the week.

SCHOOLS - All schools in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district are closed today due to accumulated snow and additional amounts forecast. 

UNIVERSITY Vancouver Island University Nanaimo campus, Cowichan campus and Trades Centre, Parksville-Qualicum Centre, G.R. Paine Horticultural Centre, and Milner Gardens and Woodland are closed today. Snow and ice has developed on roadways, sidewalks and staircases throughout campus, making conditions hazardous for drivers and pedestrians.

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE - The monthly luncheon meeting scheduled for today has be rescheduled to next Tuesday, at the Coast Bastion Inn.

TRANSIT – RDN Transit buses were running, with modifications to some routes. Check the link for specific route information.

ROADS - Winter driving conditions persist throughout Nanaimo this morning. City Crews were out last night and were able to move into secondary routes and some residential areas. They remain focused on keeping emergency and priority routes clear and will only move onto to secondary and residential once the snow subsides. Rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult. For information on emergency plans and kits CLICK HERE

HYDRO – Be prepared for possible power outages. Check BC Hydro for tips on preparing for winter storms and outages.

GARBAGE PICKUP Garbage/Recycling collection has been cancelled for Wednesday.

WARMING CENTRE – A warming centre at the 7-10 Club (285 Prideaux Street) will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, Thursday and Friday. The City of Nanaimo thanks our the 7-10 Club and the Salvation Army for their help with this short-term initiative.

CROSSROADS CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTRE - Closed today due to weather conditions.

Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH – Mayor Leonard Krog is fed up with the hypocrisy and stupidity between drug enforcement and harm reduction. His comment came during debate on changing zoning regulations to encompass supervised consumption. The News Bulletin quoted the Mayor as saying the provincial and federal governments have to step up and address the hypocrisy of trying to restrict the use of substances while health officials ensure that they take the drugs so they don’t die in the process. He termed it ridiculous on every level.

TASK FORCE ENLISTS PROFESSIONALS – Nanaimo’s Health and Housing Task Force has enlisted Turner Strategies and HelpSeeker to address community challenges of homelessness. The task force was created by city council with the Nanaimo Homeless Coalition and United Way. Dr. Alina Turner will lead a national team which has successfully supported more than 100 communities in similar efforts across Canada, including Calgary, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge and Abbotsford. 

PLUGGED IN – What usually happens when you develop a special interest a support group or club emerges. Electric vehicle owners in Nanaimo have formed an electric car club. The Mid Vancouver Island Electric Vehicle Association will hold its first meeting Sunday (Jan. 19). It was easy to find EV owners, just hang out around charging stations. Joyce Lee, of the association, says members are promoting the installation of infrastructure to support electric vehicles within municipalities. Meetings are the third Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. at Harris Kia on Bowen Road. So far there are about three dozen people who get together or associate on Facebook.

GETTING THE FACTS – MNP and The Network Hub are holding a cannabis industry mixer in Nanaimo for licensed and pre-licensed cultivators, processors, retailers and service providers to build the local cannabis industry. It is an opportunity to discuss ideas and challenges facing the industry. If you plan to attend, they want you registered by today. For more information, contact Luke Biles at 250-410-4008 or luke.biles@mnp.ca.

FISH AND GAME – The annual general meeting is at 10 a.m. Sunday in the main club house. It’s an opportunity to learn more and have your say in how the club is operated. It will also be the first chance to get tickets for the Annual Game Banquet coming up in February. The club is located at 1325 Nanaimo Lakes Road.

DON’T MESS WITH SENIORS – The bus route serving Kiwanis Lodge was eliminated without consultation by BC Transit – a unilateral decision that impacts the lives of seniors. Kiwanis Villagers, The Board of Directors, friends, families, employees, volunteers, partners, contractors and funders are launching a petition to get the route restored. If you’d like to support the seniors, go to http://www.change.org.

CLEARING YOUR DRIVEWAY – With all the snow piling up, and more expected, a couple of fellows are offering to clear driveways and walkways. You can call or text Gary at 250-240-6437 with service from Nanaimo to Qualicum. You can also message Richard Joseph to get the job done.

POLICE ARE SEEKING a hit and run driver after and accident sent a victim to hospital.

POLICE PROBE FIRES – RCMP are investigating three separate fires in dumpsters and recyclable materials in north Nanaimo early Monday and Tuesday.

HEARING FOR MEMA - The Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta’s discipline tribunal will hold a hearing Feb. 4-5 into allegations of unprofessional conduct”by Victor Mema, the former Nanaimo chief financial officer for nearly two years. The two-day hearing is scheduled to be held in Edmonton.

Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020

BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES – Things are going to continue low level in the city for the next few days as we weather the latest winter storm. Environment Canada tells us we'll have more snow over the next few days, and it's going to be cold, cold, cold. Bundle up, and stay home if you can at all avoid going out and challenging the roads and streets.

UN RIGHTS DISCUSSION – An expert in Aboriginal and treaty rights will explain the impact of the The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) Wednesday at the monthly Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Coast Bastion. B.C. passed legislation requiring the province to align the laws of BC with the UN. Brian McGuigan of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers will explain the implications of that legislation, particularly in the natural resource sector.

YOU CAN HELP OUT – The city is looking for eleven volunteer at-large members for the Advisory Committee on Accessibility and Inclusiveness. The committee promotes social and political equity within existing and proposed City plans, policies, bylaws and infrastructure and makes recommendations to ensure that the City is inclusive and accommodating to citizens of all ages, abilities and walks of life. Applications can be downloaded from www.nanaimo.ca or picked up from Legislative Services in City Hall (455 Wallace Street) and will be accepted from Monday, January 13 until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, January 24. Email: Legislative.Servicesoffice@nanaimo.cad to find out more about city committees, go to www.nanaimo.ca/goto/committees.

OBSTACLES ARE JUST challenges to be overcome. Janelle Minoza’s story proves that hard work and determination can help you achieve your dreams. The third-year Bachelor of Social Work student at Vancouver Island University, from the Deh Gah Gotie Dene First Nations in Fort Providence, has not let anything stand in her way of getting the education she desires. She got funding to attend VIU through the EleV learning partnership for Indigenous youth. Funded by the Mastercard Foundation, EleV boosts Indigenous youth accessing education and provides wraparound support. EleV scholarships provide full tuition, daycare, transportation, books, accommodation and living allowances as well as wraparound supports on campus, creating the stability. READ THE FULL STORY

THEY ARE COMING FOR YOU – New laws come into effect all the time, but some are delayed to allow preparation for their effects. Now that we’ve turned the calendar to 2020 Macleans Magazine looks at the new ones coming into effect. Hint: Hang on to your wallet.

Monday, January 12, 2020

SCHOOLS ARE OPEN – All schools in Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District 68 are open today and buses are running.

FERRIES – All ferries from Departure Bay and Duke Point are running this morning.

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – We're in for some tough weather for the rest of this week with drastically colder than normal temperatures in the mid island. Arctic air will likely result in a string of chilly conditions. Overnight temperatures will dip well below zero degrees. The average overnight low temperature for Nanaimo this time of year is zero. Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures five to 10 degrees below normal.

IN THE DARK – High winds disrupted the lives of many on Vancouver Island, first disrupting ferry service to the Mainland, followed by power outages. About 8,400 customers in North Nanaimo, Lantzville and Gabriola were without power. B.C. Hydro crews moved quickly to restore power in north Nanaimo and Lantzville and were route to Gabriola.

CELL TO THE RESCUE – We seldom use all the gadgets in our cell phones, but there’s nothing like a prolonged power outage to realize the value of a fully-charged cell phone. While North Nanaimo was in the dark last night I was able use the flashlight in the phone. It sure comes in handy when stumbling around the house in total darkness. I was also able to make telephone calls and keep up to date with news outlets and even sports scores and tune to radio stations. With backup chargers now coming down in price, make sure you have a fully-charged one on hand to keep your phone charged.

A RARE MOMENT – When you're the the BCHL’s player of the month, and you are a goalie, what can you do to top that? Nanaimo Clippers' goalie Jordan Naylor scored an empty-net goal to ice a 5-2 win Sunday against the Wenatchee Wild at Frank Crane Arena.

 

Weather still disrupting ferry travel

The wind continues to play havoc with ferry travel. BC Ferries has cancelled all sailings on major routes until Sunday evening due to adverse weather conditions.

All sailing from Departure Bay were cancelled through to 5:55 p.m., and Horseshoe Bay cancelled all Nanaimo-bound sailings through to 6:35 p.m.

Duke Point to Tsawwassen has cancelled all sailings through to 5:45 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020

GOOD MORNING VANCOUVER ISLAND – While the Lower Mainland lies buried in snow, we on Vancouver Island can conjure visions of sandcastles on the beach. If you’ve ever had your own visions of how the Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competitition and Exhibition from July 10 to Aug. 16 should look. The Parksville Beach Festival Society wants the community to vote for a favourite theme from a choice of three: Roaring ‘20s, Topsy Turvy, or Celebrate. Go to the web page  to pick your favourite theme.

Firefighters put out fire in College Heights
College Drive was closed to traffic after a structure fire Saturday morning. The 1000 block of College Drive, between Camrose Place and Concordia Place, was closed off as firefighters extinguished a small fire in a house.

 

Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – There’s a local link to a new television series on Global TV – Nanaimo’s own Sandy Sidhu is one of the main characters. She plays nurse Nazneen Khan and says she knew the role well in advance of the first audition because, in many ways, Nazneen Khan was her mother who came from India learning the ropes of her first career and a new country, while also navigating the patterns of the home she left behind.

IN THE NEWS

Person of interest in Chang homicide faces sex assault charges in Ontario
A person of interest in the Makayla Chang homicide investigation faces sexual assault-related charges in Ontario.  Steven Bacon, 59, faces charges including sexual assault, sexual interference, sexual exploitation and one other charge.

Jan. 10, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Daffodil shoots are peeking through a dusting of snow this morning as wind forced the cancellation of all BC Ferries’ sailings between Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay, along with the Tsawwassen to Duke Point route. Despite the minor snowfall, BC Transit services remain largely unaffected, while all SD68 schools and VIU opened this morning. Forecasts call for 5 to 15 cm of snow for the region. FULL DETAILS

LADYSMITH IS FAST BECOMING a major movie star. The town has been selected as the site for a new TV series called ‘Resident Alien’ which will be shot in January and March. Ladysmith has become popular with producers after its role in ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ in 2018. This has ripple effects for communities on the mid-Island. Joan Miller of the Vancouver Island North Film Commission says having a television series is a huge advantage. If a TV series gets picked up, it comes back year after year so it’s not just the big initial bang like a Sonic the Hedgehog with its global reach.

YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS UP – While we're looking at entertainment, there’s a familiar ring to a new movie produced in Vancouver, directed and produced by Nanaimo's former chief administrative officer Tracy Samra. "Diversion" is about a group of councillors who are “taking bold steps” to launch their agenda while their new employee must navigate the establishment’s ways of doing things. That does sound familiar. Wonder who will come out as the “good guy” in the film which was produced at Langara College in late fall.

NOROVIRUS SHUTS SERVICES – Charitable organizations dealing with vulnerable people in Nanaimo have taken measures after seeing norovirus-like symptoms at their facilities. The 7-10 Club closed one day, so the entire facility could be sanitized and the site re-opened Thursday on a full-time basis. Noroviruses, Norwalk virus, or the stomach flu, see symptoms including upset stomach, vomiting, fever and diarrhea and can be spread from person to person from contaminated food and water.

IN THE NEWS

Report of man with weapons temporarily shuts down schools
A false alarm is better than the real thing and that was the case Thursday when police placed a hold and secure on two schools after reports of a man with several weapons, and approaching a senior secondary high school on foot. Police responded and located three men in the area and took them into custody. No weapons were found and the alert was lifted. The investigation is continuing and police would welcome any information which could assist with this investigation. If you know anything, contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.

Suspect on Canada-wide warrant arrested in Nanaimo
Curtis Jesse Houle, who was subject of a Canada-wide warrant for parole violations, was arrested and taken into custody without incident on Wednesday.  He was arrested with the assistance of the Vancouver Island Emergency Response Team (ERT).  Police found a replica Glock firearm, ammunition and a sawed-off shotgun and approximately two ounces of suspected methamphetamine and cocaine, and $2,000 in Canadian currency. Two other people arrested with Houle were later released with no charges . The investigation continues.

 

Jan. 9,2020

HEY NANAIMO, you’re the cherry on the ice cream when it comes to supporting your fellow man. This year’s Salvation Army Kettle Campaign set a record of close to $260,000 and still counting, says Dawne Anderson who looks after the nuts and bolts of the campaign. That was more than $40,000 higher than the previous campaign which was crimped by power outages in the south end curbing donations for four days. The weather also hindered last year’s northend campaign with snow. There were constant calls for more volunteers as the Sally Ann switched to a new database, but in the end the job got done. Kudos to those who spent countless hours volunteering, sometimes outside in the chilly weather. It should make everyone feel warm all over that they did a very good thing. A special tip of the hat to Loyd and Bev Sherry who have been front and centre almost since the first Christmas. 

IT'S STILL CHRISTMAS – What many of us know as Ukrainian Christmas is this week, and that means Sandy's Ukrainian Kitchen has its 16th annual dinner and dance. It's Saturday at Beban Park. Doors open at 4 p.m. and dinner is served at 6. Tickets are available for $35 from Sandy's or by calling 250-759-6677.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY – The computer thingy says Rob Grey is celebrating today. Happy birthday Rob.

IN THE NEWS

Inquest ordered into 2016 death while in police custody
The BC Coroners Service has scheduled an inquest into the death of Craig Andrew Ford in June, 2016, following a police-involved incident in Nanaimo. The BC Coroners Service looks to gather the facts surrounding why a death took place, it is not a fault-finding agency. It provides an independent service to the family, community, government agencies and other organizations.  The inquest will take place July 27, 2020, at the Nanaimo. 

Mom who claimed smudging ceremony infringed on religious freedoms loses case
B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled against a Vancouver Island mother who claimed her daughter’s religious rights were violated when an indigenous smudging ceremony was performed in her elementary school classroom. 

Minivan and sedan crash on Bowen Road

Jan. 8, 2020

REMEMBER THE luxury 242-seat ferry launched in 2017, offering passengers a “premium cruise experience” between Vancouver and Victoria during the spring and summer? Well, it is sailing no more, docked in Victoria due to unsatisfactory passenger levels making it not viable. One-way tickets ran between $110 and $180. Hmm, could that have been a factor?

ALSHEIMER AWARENESS – The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is bringing dementia into the open with an open house Jan. 16. Dementia, one of B.C.’s most pressing health issue, affects many families in Nanaimo.  Dementia is a group of brain disorders. Symptoms include the loss of memory, impaired judgment, and changes in behaviour and personality. It is progressive, degenerative and eventually terminal. This is the third consecutive year of the effort to change hearts and minds and tackle the ongoing challenges. The open house will be 3 to 5 p.m. at the North and Central Vancouver Island Resource Centre, Unit 4 – 4488.

YOU LEARN SOMETHING every day. Trying to find a restaurant for a special event the Yellow Pages shows numerous places that have not been for a couple of years. On checking, there’s no date on the cover of the local Yellow Pages directory, so you can’t tell when it was published. A discussion with one of their representatives after waiting on the phone for more than 14 minutes brought the answer that they don’t print the Yellow Pages as regularly as in the past “to save on printing”. The online YP are not up to date either because, the representative said, phone companies don’t provide updated information regularly. But you can bet the monthly billinhd appear regularly on businesses' phone bills.

IN THE NEWS

Minivan and sedan crash on Bowen Road

Update on dangerous driving incident at Country Club Mall parking lot
The 38-year-old male driver involved in the incident at the Country Club Mall on Monday has been arrested and will be charged with Dangerous Driving and Mischief, under the Criminal Code. He was held in police custody overnight and was expected to appear in Nanaimo Provincial Court this morning. The investigation into the incident which damaged several buildings and two vehicles continues.

Person taken to hospital after crash on Nanaimo’s Rutherford Road
One person was taken to hospital after a two-vehicle accident at the bottom of Rutherford hill Tuesday afternoon.

RCMP looking for two men who tried to use stolen credit card
Nanaimo RCMP hope the public can help identify two men suspected of using a stolen credit card.

Historic 104-year-old Extension School being demolished
The demolition of a rural Nanaimo school is bringing up nearly a century’s worth of vivid memories. Extension School on Ryder Rd. off Extension Rd., which served primary students between 1916 and 2001, is being dismantled.

Mom who claimed smudging ceremony infringed on religious freedoms loses case
B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled against a Vancouver Island mother who claimed her daughter’s religious rights were violated when an indigenous smudging ceremony was performed in her elementary school classroom.

 

Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Some drivers apparently still don’t understand what to do when they encounter an emergency vehicle with lights flashing and the siren blaring. In simple language, get out of the way. That includes clearing intersections. If you are stopped at a traffic signal and an emergency vehicle is behind you, safely go through the traffic signal – the emergency overrides the red light.

APPROXIMATELY 1,500 TROUT have been transferred from Vancouver Island University to The Pacific Biological Station after 377 fish died at the facility. A series of errors – mechanical and human –  were blamed for the fish kill. The fish will be cared for at the Biological Station until further notice while VIU addresses these issues.

IN THE NEWS

Pickup truck crashes repeatedly into buildings and cars at Nanaimo mall
A pickup truck collided several times with buildings and vehicles at Country Club Centre on Monday night. RCMP, Fire Rescue and B.C. Ambulance Service responded at about 7 p.m. 

Man charged with threats, pointing weapon after high-risk incident
Nanaimo RCMP had weapons drawn around Rosehill Street and Millstone Avenue on Sunday afternoon as they arrested a 29-year-old man.

Thieves break in to Tim Horton’s downtown
Thieve broke in to the Tim Horton’s location on Wallace Street Christmas morning. A drive through window had been pried open. The suspects took an undisclosed amount of cash along with a silver safe. Both made deliberate attempts to conceal their faces from video surveillance. If you have any information on the identity of these two, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2019-51107. 

Monday, Jan. 6, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Nanaimo RCMP are expected to provide more information today after a weapons-drawn arrest Sunday afternoon in the area of Rosehill and Millstone Avenue. A man was arrested without injuries. Sgt. Sarah Mattes said due to the possibility of a weapon, the public was asked to remain away from the scene.

SUPPORTING THE CAUSE – Nanaimo RCMP Cst Josh Grafton and his Police Service Dog Jager made a special visit to the nurses and doctors of the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital emergency room recently. They were there to get a $700 donation from staff for Ned's Wish, a registered charitable organization, providing financial support to retired police dogs. Read the full story here.

Jan. 5, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Property assessments levelled off in the past year, but we still have a number of residential properties assessed at more than $2 million. Assessment data shows the average single-family home in Nanaimo increased by a modest three per cent, from $490,00 to $504,000. The average multi-family home bumped up two per cent to $314,000, following several years of sharp increases. The highest-valued property is on Stephenson Point Road at $3.98 million with another on the same street at $2.3 million rounding out the top ten. Woodgrove Mall remains as the top commercial property at $259 million.

TAKE A HIKE – It’s not exactly beach weather, but you can now get to Blueback Beach a lot easier and safer – the city has installed new wooden stairs. The above-ground stairs are a big improvement from the steps encased into the top half of the hill. Two rest areas are part of the project. That should really increase foot traffic to the beach once the weather co-operates.

Jan 4, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Start the weekend off with disappointment, nobody won the $70 million Lotto Max jackpot, so it's back to our every day mundane existence. There's always the hope that Lotto 6/49 tonight will bring that ever-elusive bonanza, but don't hold your breath.

WHAT DAY IS IT? – With the holidays in the middle of the week, it's been hard for the past two weeks to even settle on what day it is. Hopefully we'll return to normal by Monday. Have a great weekend.

NO CURE FOR STUPIDITY – A little advice if you're going to steal a vehicle, pick one that works. Security footage from Kal-Tire on Old Victoria Road showed a man breaking in through a window around 4 a.m. on Thursday and then stealing a truck . . . which broke down almost immediately. 

Jan. 3

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS – First the good news, your property assessment is likely unchanged, or even down. The bad news, your taxes will not ncessarily go down. BC Assessment  figures show Nanaimo's residential assessments went up 1.8 per cent. The city has budgetted for a tax increase of just over 5 per cent, so if your assessment decreased by five per cent you can expect to just about break even. This is not a scientific formula, but a general view of what you can expect. If you don't agree with the assessment have until Jan. 31, to appeal. Information on appealing  can be viewed here. If you want to check your property assement, CLICK HERE.

THE CRAPPY WEATHER that greeted the new year continues to play havoc with travel plans.  BC Ferries cancelled a number of early morning ferry sailings including the 6:15 a.m. and 8:25 a.m., 10:40 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. crossings from Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay. The 10:15 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. departures from Duke Point and Tsawwassen were also docked.  Environment Canada predicts strong winds will continue through much of Friday, tapering off in the evening.

NEWS IN BRIEF
Missing Nanaimo man located safe and sound
200103 - The Nanaimo RCMP report that 57-year-old Gerald McCauley who had been reported missing has been found. For the past two months, McCauley had been living in a van parked in a driveway in downtown Nanaimo. On the afternoon of Dec. 31, he told a friend he was going out to look for a generator that he believed was stolen from him. Investigators contacted all emergency shelters in Nanaimo and various other resources in the area before he was located.

Person of interest in Chang homicide arrested on unrelated charge
Police have arrested Steven Michael Bacon, a person of interest in Makayla Chang’s homicide, on an unrelated charge. he was associated with Chang prior to the 16-year-old’s disappearance in March 2017. Police found her body in May of that year. No one was ever charged with Chang’s murder.

 

Jan 2

WELCOME TO THE WORLD – Nasch Oxler Aguiar took just under four hours to arrive once the New Year was rung in. The new son for Kari Oxler and Graydon Aguiar became the first baby born this year and this decade at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital on Jan. 1, at 3:56 a.m. He tipped the scales at seven pounds, 11 ounces. Welcome to the world, young fella.

ROARING TWENTIES - Could we see a repeat of the roaring twenties, as the 1920s were known – years of prosperity, technological innovation and social developments? Investors go into the new decade with a spring in their step, after watching world stocks add over $25 trillion in value in the past 10 years and a bond rally put $13 trillion worth of bond yields below zero. They saw internet-based firms transform the way humans work, shop and relax. Now investors are positioning for the tech revolution’s next 10 years. There’s unease along with all the euphoria. The current economic cycle is the longest in U.S. history and a recession looks inevitable in the new decade — which also will mark 100 years since the Wall Street crash of 1929.

NEWS IN BRIEF
Storm warning in effect for Vancouver Island
200102 - A storm is brewing and all of Vancouver Island is expected to be hit with some kind of weather, warns Environment Canada. The agency issued a warning of a strong Pacific storm coming Thursday afternoon and Friday across the B.C. coast. Precipitation is expected to hit Vancouver Island late Thursday morning with strong southeasterly winds developing in the afternoon.

Monday, Dec. 30 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Anyone with one hundred thousand bucks to spare would be a welcome individual indeed for the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation. The foundation is well on the way to $1.75 million goal to fund a new surgical suite at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. They are only about $100,000 short of that goal. Foundation CEO Janice Perrino told NanaimoNewsNOW said Nanaimo has only two surgical suites that perform colonoscopies, the same as Campbell River and Comox, yet our population is four times the amount. MORE

HOUSING COSTS - I just heard a statement on a television discussion the claims 30 per cent of housing costs are related to regulation. That's something for local politicians to ponder as we enter a new year and a new decade.

Dec. 28, 2019

LOAVES AND FISHES Executive Director Peter Sinclair reports a significant drop in the number of people receiving food hampers this Christmas. The demand was down and 600 fewer meal packages were given out – 4,100 – compared to 4,700 last year. The drop was not expected, based on an increases in October and November. Sinclair said it was puzzling but encouraging. More than 1,000 volunteers stepped up to assist the needy.

BICYCLES are big time gifts at Christmas, so make sure you protect them. 529 Garage is a free application where you can register so if your bike gets lost or stolen and is recovered it can be traced and returned to you. It's free to register here – https://project529.com/garage/organizations/nanaimorcmp/landing

LONG FERRY LINEUPS – If you were travelling through the Duke Point ferry terminal today you may have wondered about the long lineups. BC Ferries cancelled two sailings on the route on this morning citing mechanical issues. The Queen of Alberni cancelled its sailings at 10:15 a.m. departing Tsawwassen and at 12:45 p.m. departing Duke Point. Other routes saw steady traffic on Saturday morning with some terminals at a one or two sailing delay, while the Queen of Coquitlam on the Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route was operating 54 minutes behind schedule due to staffing issues. If you want to check conditions, go to BC Ferries website.

NEWS IN BRIEF
Impaired driving suspected in Malahat crash
The West Shore RCMP have launched an impaired driving investigation after a single vehicle rolled over on the Malahat highway, snarling traffic Friday morning, Police say the driver was the only occupant of the vehicle and was not injured in the crash.

Police looking for missing Port Hardy teen
Mounties are asking the public for help locating 16-year-old Jessica "Jessie" Clair who was last seen Dec. 23 at the Port Hardy Ministry of Children and Family Services. Police describe her as an Indigenous girl with brown eyes and shoulder-length dark hair. She is 5'2" and weighs about 110 pounds, police said. Anyone with information is asked to call Port Hardy RCMP at 250-949-6335 anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

 

in brief

Dec. 27, 28, 2019

FERRY SAILING WAITS – There are multiple sailing waits at B.C. Ferries terminals on this the busiest travel day of the season. At Departure Bay there was a three-sailing wait, with the 7:15 p.m. sailing already 100 per cent filled. It’s a similar situation at Duke Point terminal, with the 5:45 p.m. sailing nearly at capacity. Check the schedules here

BABY, IT'S COLD OUTSIDE – Hundreds of souls braved the weather and the frigid water to take part in the 60thannual Frank Ney Polar Bear Swim on Thursday. Ian Holmes of Island Radio was one of the participants. See the VIDEO

THEY ARE WATCHING YOU -  The province now has 15 intersection cameras to produce speeding tickets as well as red-light violations, and another 20 cameras at high-crash locations will be activated by spring. The program started last summer, mostly in Metro Vancouver, but cameras activated for 24-hour speed enforcement are now up in Victoria, Duncan, Courtenay and Nanaimo on the Island. An additional five locations are scheduled to go live for speed enforcement Jan. 6, in Vancouver. Signs notify drivers when the intersection is equipped with red light cameras, and when they are activated for speed enforcement as well.

Dec. 25, 2019

MERRY CHRISTMAS – Best wishes of the Christmas season to all of our friends on Nanaimonet.com, it’s great to keep you informed throughout the year. Speaking of which, you might want to keep an eye on the classified ad pages on Facebook as people try to convert Christmas gifts to cash online. There’s a bunch of local sites. Good luck in hunting for bargains.

MODERN TECHNOLOGY – Thanks to today’s modern technology in our home we were able to celebrate Christmas via video conferencing with our family in West Virgina. Great to see the granddaughters' excitement as they tear the wrapping paper off gifts. 

 WHILE YOU ARE IN THE MOOD for giving, Marguerite Stevenson of Nanaimo could sure use a little bit of love. She has multiple sclerosis with loss of her muscles from the neck down. For more than 14 years Marguerite used a head-controlled, electric-powered wheelchair until it wore out and could no longer be repaired. A replacement will cost about $14,200, so friends have set up a Gofundme page to help raise the cost of a new wheelchair. So far they have raised about $3,000. If you want to kick in some cash or learn more about the campaign visit www.gofundme.com/f/a-wheelchair-for-marguerite.

THANKS TO FIRST RESPONDERS who are on the job today instead of with their families because that's what they do – they work to keep us all safe. To all the police, fire fighters, ambulance attendants, hospital staff and all others, thank you for what you do year round, especially at Christmas and other holidays.

BICYCLES are big time gifts at Christmas, so make sure you protect them. 529 Garage is a free application where you can register so if your bike gets lost or stolen and is recovered it can be traced and returned to you. It's free to register here – https://project529.com/garage/organizations/nanaimorcmp/landing

Dec. 24

EARLY WITHDRAWAL - The Terminal Park Bank of Montreal was robbed this afternoon. The lone suspect indicated he had a weapon and demanded cash. An undisclosed amount of money was handed over and he ran through the parking lot. Much of the clothing he wore was discarded in the parking lot, including a Santa hat, leather jacket, gloves and sunglasses. All of these items were located by officers. The suspect is a white male, 40-50 years old; 5 ft. 8, medium build; brown/grey goatee and a Castles and Crooks hoody.  If you have information on  this suspect, call the cops at 250-754-2345 so they can provide him with a warm and dry home for Christmas at the Crowbar Hotel.

SOMETHING's FISHY HERE - There has been great consternation about the escape of Atlantic Salmon into the Pacific Ocean after a fire last week at an Island fish farm. Hold on to your undies, apparently it’s not as big a deal as it’s made out to be. For more than 100 years both federal and provincial governments have seeded B.C. salmon streams with the Atlantic species hoping to establish viable populations on the West Coast. However, that hasn’t panned out and Atlantic salmon have not endured the Pacific nor returned to spawn. Vancouver Sun has an excellent report.

 

UPDATE - Missing girl found safe and sound

Seanna Randen

1223 - The Nanaimo RCMP seeks public assistance in locating 14-year-old Seanna Randen who has not been seen since being dropped off at her school on Tuesday Dec. 17. Seanna has been texting family members daily but to date, police and family have been unable to locate her. This situation is out of character for Seanna and as a result, her family and friends are worried for her safety and well-being.

Seanna is 5 ft. 8 and 130 pounds. She was last seen wearing a purple VIU hoody, a black long sleeve shirt, and black leggings. She may also be wearing a black Adidas nylon windbreaker over her hoody. Seanna lives in south Nanaimo but is known to frequent Woodgrove Centre daily.

If anyone has information on her whereabouts, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www..nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477.

Sunday, Dec. 22

IN THE SWIM – Boxing Day, Dec. 26 marks the sixtieth anniversary of the Frank Ney Memorial Polar Bear Swim. It starts at 11:30 a.m., or thereabouts, at Departure Bay beach. Royal LePage Nanaimo Realty, the sponsor of the swim is forecasting 3 to 5 degrees (above zero) with rain.

PAT MURPHY HAS ADDED another Canadian Spitfire model to the collection and display at the Vancouver Island Military Museum. That makes 59 Canadians who have been honoured here in the largest display of its kind in Canada. Pat has matched Spitfire models with exact details in their markings along with biographical information for each of the pilots who flew them. Pat does all of the research and model making as a volunteer with VIMM.

HAPPY HANUKKAH ­ – Sunday marked the first day of the Jewish holiday which celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over the larger Syrian army. It ends on the evening of Dec. 30. It also celebrates a miracle that happened during this time, where just a day's supply of oil allowed the menorah in the rededicated Temple in Jerusalem to remain lit for eight days. Fried foods like potato pancakes (latkas in Yiddish and livivot in Hebrew) and doughnuts (sufganiyot in Hebrew) are traditional Hanukkah treats because they are cooked in oil and remind Jews of the miracle of the holiday. 

INDIGENOUS STUDENTS graduation is at an all-time high in Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district. In 2018-19, 69.2 per cent graduated. That beats the previous high of 63.9 per cent earning Dogwood diplomas in 2013-14. District Principal of Aboriginal Education Ted Cadwallader said graduation rates have been measured since mid-1990 and the focus has been on early learning, early literacy skills and bringing indigenous content and culture into classrooms over the last 10 years.

OVER THE HILL – For a quarter of a century, Ladysmith’s Over the Hill Gang entertained at care homes in Ladysmith, Chemainus, Duncan and Nanaimo. Now they have played their final show. The Gang was created by Jack and Cora Maier to liven up birthday parties at the Ladysmith Seniors Centre. Music has always been with Jack and Cora. Both had careers with the military, and did not start performing until they retired. People kept joining and the gang over the years and it grew from there. Hilary Bell, Henry Wheat, Diana Hart, Nancy Sauvageau, and Jackie Ross joined the group, and others have been involved with the Over the Hill Gang over the years.

State of the City - Mayor's year end report

Mayor Leonard Krog

STATE OF THE CITY – It’s just over one year since Nanaimo elected a new city council. Mayor Leonard Krog has provided a progress report on the city in a 10-minute presentation on Nanaimonet.com at https://www.nanaimonet.com/433181220. Please share.

Saturday, Dec. 21

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Have you got your Christmas shopping done yet? You have less than four days to get it done.

AN EARLY CHRISTMAS GIFT – It will be easier to get around Christmas day. Regional Transit will offer bus service on a Sunday schedule. The Regional District voted in June to begin holiday service in 2020, starting New Year’s Day. But in the spirit of the season, this year’s Christmas day was also added to the schedule. RDN Transporation Manager Daniel Pearce said routes that do not run on Sundays, including 88 (Parksville), 97 (Eaglecrest), 98 (Qualicum Beach) and 99 (Deep Bay), will not be served. HandyDart is included in Sunday-level service.

TREE CHIPPING – It’s not too early to begin thinking about disposal of your live Christmas tree. Nanaimo Search and Rescue is again holding a fundraiser all day Jan. 4 at Country Club Centre. A great way to dispose of the tree and help a volunteer organization that does vital work for our community.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING – Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley is touting a new affordable housing project at 858 Georgia Ave. for families and individuals who make moderate incomes  It includes 27 one- and two-bedroom units with rents ranging from $1,100 to $1,700 for renters with annual incomes between $44,000 and $68,000. The building was purchased by the Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society with assistance from the province.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS – Politicians play with numbers. Canada had forecast in 2015 it would emit 830 million tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by 2020. Now the federal government says the gap between what it promised to achieve under the Paris Accord on reducing emissions, and what it now projects will actually happen be a lot lower. Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says by 2030, Canada’s emissions are forecast to be 227 million tonnes below what was projected. What can you believe?

Friday, Dec. 20

WHEN WILL THEY LEARN? - RCMP keep reminding people not to leave valuables in vehicles. Here’s a classic example – a purse left in the back seat of a car was. RCMP said the purse was stolen from a vehicle parked on St. George Crescent, between 6:30-7:30 p.m. Monday. The credit cards were used within an hour at three nearby businesses. For crime prevention tips, click here.

POLICE LOOKING FOR STOLEN BIKES - Two bikes were stolen from a back yard Saturday night (Dec. 14) and a vehicle parked in the 7600 block Lantzville Road was rummaged through. The stolen bikes were a 2013 black Specialized Stumpjumper with yellow trim and serial number 659551. The second was a black Norco VPS2 with green lettering. No serial number was available. Insurance documents were taken from the vehicle. If you have information on any of these crimes, contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. Nanaimo file # 2019- 49621

Thursday, Dec. 19

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Time is running out, you have only five shopping days left until Christmas. Are you one of those who will wait until 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve?

IT’S ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE – Mount Washington got 41 cm of snow within the past 48 hours to put the snowbase at 62 cm, so that means opening day Friday (Dec.20) from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Open terrain will include Coaster, the Easy Acres zone as well as the Tube Park and limited Nordic operations, with more terrain opening as snow conditions allow. Early season lift ticket pricing will be in effect based on open terrain.

Check our POSTER WALL to see what's on in our community.
Post your event free at editor@nanaimonet.com

 

Maira Laurence

SHE’S B-A-A-A-A-A-C-K – Mira Laurence has been appointed Executive Director of HeadWay,  a Victoria-based non-profit focussed on managing the physical, psychological and social effects of Parkinson’s. Mira is well-known in the local sport community as a TV sportcaster, paying a lot of attention to Nanaimo sports over the years. Mira’s key focus will be on expanding fundraising for HeadWay as well as organizing special events. If you want more information about Headway and how you can help support their work in assisting clients with Parkinson’s please call 250-475-6677 or email help@vepc.bc.ca  Website: www.headwayvictoria.com.

NOT SO FAST - The idea of free busing for high school students in Nanaimo has been sidetracked to the will committee level before it returns to the Regional District of Nanaimo board table. RDN Director Tyler Brown, transit select committee chairman, asked for a report examining transit in Kingston, Ont., which has free, subsidized transit for older students. Notices of motion were given incorrectly so board members decided proper procedure would be the referral.  Brown said the Kingston model was one that has garnered interest from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and said the Ontario city has a transit system similar to the RDN. 

FIDDLING AROUND – Nanaimo’s Fiddle Frolics have won the fifth annual CBC Canadian Music Class Challenge. The local fiddle ensemble is getting $3,000 in instruments after earning first place in the Primary Instrumental (Kindergarten to Grade 3) category for their rendition of the East Coast folk song, I’s the B’y. The young musicians beat out six other groups from Victoria, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg. They also finished in the Top 10 in the Community Music Class category, where they were up against Grade 12 students. The Fiddle Frolics is a new class that started in September. Their fancy footwork is on full display in their entry video

Two bicycles stolen from Lantzville Road address

TWO BICYCLES were stolen from a back yard Saturday night (Dec. 14) and a vehicle parked in the 7600 block Lantzville Road was rummaged through. The stolen bikes were a 2013 black Specialized Stumpjumper with yellow trim and serial number 659551. The second was a black Norco VPS2 with green lettering. No serial number was available. Insurance documents were taken from the vehicle. If you have information on any of these crimes, contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. Nanaimo file # 2019- 49621.

Wednesday, Dec. 18

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST? – That’s the bottom line for everyone when it comes to the city’s projected 5.2 per cent residential property tax increase. Council passed the provisional financial plan on Monday and also set the 2020 water, sewer and garbage collection.  These increases help the city to budget for long-term replacement of fixed assets, including water supply and distribution and sanitary sewer assets. 
• The 5.2 per cent increase amounts to $109 for a typical property assessed at $516,418.
• Water user fees of 7.5%, equivalent to $42 
• Sewer user fees of 4.0%, equivalent to $6
• Solid waste user fees of 0.6%, equivalent to $1 
That adds up to a total annual increase of $158 or about $13 per month.
The City also collects fees and taxes on behalf of Regional District of Nanaimo (rdn.bc.ca), Vancouver Island Regional Library (virl.bc.ca), School District 68 (sd68.bc.ca) and BC assessment (bcassessment.ca) which all appear on your tax bill.

GET READY TO PARTAY – The City will celebrate the arrival of the next decade at a family New Year's celebration, Dec.31 from 5-10 pm at Beban Park. This year's theme is "At the Movies". Participants will walk the red carpet to experience dancing to movie soundtracks, Zumba dancing, crafts, games, contests, bouncy castles, face painting, a visit from Aunti Bobbi, and swimming and skating! There will be two countdowns. For the younger crowd, we will countdown at 8 pm, and then another one will happen at 10 pm as the event winds down. Tickets are $10 per person or $32 for a family of five; children two years and under get in free. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Beban Park box office or at the door the night of the event.  

COPS LOOKING FOR TIPS - Sometime overnight on Monday, a break and enter occurred at the Northfield Mini-storage, 1640 Northfield Road. The suspect(s) cut through the gate and barbwire, leaving behind a bag full of tools. It is unknown, what if anything was taken. (Nanaimo file #2019-49858) If you have information on this case contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019

TOP O THE MORNIN' TO YA - And now for some good news – expect shovels in the ground to begin the first phases of construction for the conference hotel in downtown Nanaimo. The head of PEG Developments provided council with background on the project and hinted that construction could begin in January. PEG wants to see the Nanaimo hotel open in 2021.

MORE WITH MEMA –  The Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta temporarily suspended Victor Mema’s registration in early July, pending the outcome of disciplinary proceedings. The Coast Reporter newspaper of Sechelt reported this week that the CPAA has confirmed “a hearing into allegations of unprofessional conduct” against Mema, the former Sechelt and later Nanaimo chief financial officer. 

DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH waiting for an alternate detour route for the Malahat. A study by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure states all routes were determined to have environmental, engineering, property and community disruption impacts — some to greater degrees than others. The report pointed out that closures on the Malahat long enough to trigger calls for a detour were too infrequent, an average of around 1.1 a year. Approximately 22,000 vehicles travel the Malahat daily. Hmmm, has anyone ever considered a future abandoned rail bed as an alternative?

MISSING CHRISTMAS GIFTS? - RCMP are in possession of a number of items that appear to have been recently purchased or stolen from a business. The items were found in central Nanaimo, on Sunday by a man walking his dog. Investigators are also following up on recent shoplifting reports. If these items belong to you, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2019-49738.

TIM HORTON'S next to the Shell Gas and Convenience store in upper Lantzville was broken into early Saturday morning. The restaurant is under construction and not yet open to the public. After reviewing videos, it appears one of the suspects forced the drive through window, and then climbed inside. The suspect was inside for several minutes then reappeared with an arm full of items. The crooks left the scene in a dark-coloured vehicle, possibly a Ford Fusion. As many as three suspects were involved. If you know anything about this incident, call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Monday, Dec. 16

GOOD M0RNING NANAIMO – BC Ferries has caught the Christmas spirit, eliminating its fuel surcharge just in time for holiday travel. The 1.5-per cent fuel surcharge comes off tomorrow, Dec. 17. The recent decrease in fuel prices allows Ferries to eliminate the fuel surcharges, said vice-president and CFO Alana Gallagher. The corporation closely monitors fuel prices to manage the volatility in the price of fuel and says it doesn’t benefit financially from surcharges.

BEWARE FLYING ELBOWS – Only nine shopping days until Christmas, and you can tell people are getting serious – elbow to elbow at the shopping centres, and if early reports are any indication. One poster on social media suggested wearing hockey gear to muscle through the crowds.

LONGEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR – Bethlehem Centre will celebrate solstice Dec. 21 to mark the longest night of the year. Solstice marks the shortest day of the year and the longest night of the year with music, lanterns and spirituality. The dinner is already sold out, but admission to other events is by donation. There’s a Tibetan bowl and gong meditation at 6:30 p.m. the candlelit labyrinth walk at 7 p.m. followed by music with Tony Turner at 7:15 p.m. There’s hot apple cider, the gift shop will be open.

Sunday, Dec. 15

A GREAT SUNDAY MORNING TO YOU  – Hey, it takes only a few nickels, dimes and quarters to help provide presents for kids at Christmas. The late Frank Legh created the Pennies For Presents campaign a couple of decades ago for the Black Press media group. When pennies went the way of the dodo bird, The News Bulletin continued the Christmas transition as Coins for Kids with the money going to the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Vancouver Island. Over the years, thousands and thousands of dollars has been raised. Coin jars are located at Quality Foods, John’s Bedrooms and the News Bulletin office. Carolyn Iles of the toy drive says the charity is proud to see how the community responds. So the next time you have the opportunity, drop in a handful of change.

Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019

Maor Leonard Krog

GOOD M0RNING NANAIMO – Congratulations to Mayor Leonard Krog for taking a pro-active approach to treat mentally-ill people who are homeless on our streets. The mayor wants the province to institutionalize severely mentally ill homeless people who are often addicted to alcohol and illegal substances.

Krog said the modular homes that replaced a tent city are helping but those suffering from mental health conditions need specialized care. They hear voices and are paranoid. They won’t go to shelters because of past experiences or the state of their mental health. They won’t clean themselves, take care of themselves, feed themselves, people who are taking street drugs, who are threatening people, Krog said Friday. He added it’s not just homelessness, it’s mental health, it’s addictions, it’s the petty crime that flows from it and it’s the severe cases that are being shuffled in and out of psych wards.

Krog's comments are gaining attention in the national news media.

One thing is certain, looking the other way and pretending it isn't happening is not the answer.

MAKE IT TOUGH ON CROOKS - Make life difficult for thieves during the holiday. Property-related offences increase significantly during December, and many of the crimes committed are crimes of opportunity and are preventable. That’s where you come in, prepare for thieves before they strike. Nanaimo RCMP have created and great outline of what you can do, starting with home security. Criminals look for low-hanging fruit. Lock everything up which means, windows, doors, and sheds. That includes the side door to your garage, which is often overlooked. Bikes are a hot commodity and need to be locked and registered with the 529 Garage app. It’s free and you can register online. Check over the entire list of suggestions, and have a Merry Christmas.

A TIP OF THE TOQUE to NDSS students who are creating care packages to bring a smiles to the faces of the less fortunate. Their Everyone Deserves a Smile project sees items like toques, scarves, toothpaste, toothbrushes, mittens and socks collected, packaged in a painted bag and distributed to homeless people. NDSS acted as a hub for the project this year and on Wednesday morning, leadership class students put together packages. Elise Therrien, Grade 12 student and Nanaimo project lead, said it was a learning experience. Way to go and way to show leadership.

Friday, Dec. 13, 2019

GOOD FRIDAY MORNING NANAIMO - Yesterday’s buzz about 19 cars being impounded on the Malahat after excessive speeding elicited considerable comment. As if the $368 fine and a week of walking were not enough, the owner also has to pay the towing costs as well as the impound and storage fee for the week. It’s ain’t cheap, so keep a soft foot on the gas pedal.

THE NANAIMO FLYING CLUB will pay tribute to one of its members who was among those killed in a plane crash this week. Three people died when their plane crashed into a wooded area on Gabriola Island earlier this week. Pilot Alex Bahlsen was a member of the Nanaimo Flying Club and very experienced and a former Transportation Safety Board employee. The club posted a statement on Facebook paying tribute to Bahlsen, describing him as a amazing pilot, mentor and friend with unwavering professionalism. 

GAMING MONEY FOR RESCUE VOLUNTEERS – The Nanaimo Search and Rescue Society has received $95,500 in Community Gaming Grants funding. Not-for-profit organizations providing life-saving emergency and environmental conservation benefit from annual grants. Ladysmith And District Marine Rescue Society got $39,900, and the B.C. Marine Trails Network Association  $8,600. Nanaimo-Ladysmith MLA Doug Routley paid tribute to the dedicated volunteers in these organizations. “We all hope to never need services like search and rescue, but we also know the importance of these services, which in some cases make the difference between life and death, he added. https://news.gov.bc.ca/21195

Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019

BREAKING NEWS – CBC reports that Andrew Scheer is stepping down as leader of the Conservative Party. DETAILS as they unfold.

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Nineteen drivers will be walking after their vehicles were impounded for seven days on Sunday for excessive speeding while heading south on the Malahat. Acting Staff Sgt. Ron Cronk of the Capital Regional District’s Integrated Road Safety Unit, the vehicles were seized for exceeding the speed limit by 40 kmh and slapped with $368 fines. The top speed measured was 151 kmh in an 80 zone. Cops set up on the Trans-Canada Highway at around 10 a.m. on Sunday, with an officer using a speed gun. Further down the road the cops pulled the vehicles out of traffic, issued the fine and seized the car. All those vehicles were nabbed in a five-hour period. Cronk added excessive speeding is a continuing problem for that stretch of the highway.

CALLING ALL SWINGERS – While the rest of Canada is in a deep freeze, we on our Island Paradise are swinging golf clubs over the Christmas holidays. Lantzville Rotary’s Golf by Donation is on again at Fairwinds on Boxing Day and New Year's Day. All it takes is a donation which will support projects and people in our community. Register with the Golf Shop at Fairwinds (250-468-7666) before Dec. 18. Or, just check in with the Rotarians in the shack on the 10th tee on the day. Single golfers, twosomes, foursomes. 18 holes, 9 holes or just a few. You’ll have lots of fun while you support our community.

GAMING MONEY FOR LOCAL GROUPS – The Georgia Strait Alliance has received $95,000 in Community Gaming in the latest donations to local not-for-profits. The latest round of grants totalled $300,770 to eight Nanaimo not-for-profits in environmental and public safety services. Another $55,800 went to the Nanaimo Marine Rescue Society and $44,000 to Decourcy Island Community Association. Coast Emergency Communications Association got $16,470; Morrell Sanctuary Society for Environmental Education $9,500; Nanaimo and Area Land Trust Society $40,000; John Howard Society $27,500 and the Nanaimo Science and Sustainability Society $12,500. MLA Sheila Malcolmson said the grants will do a lot of good in our community.

MANLY VOTES NON-CONFIDENCE - Our member of Parliament Paul Manly voted non-confidence in the minority Liberal government last week on a supplementary funding bill to fund government until it brings forward a budget in March. Funding bills are confidence bills and Manly gave it a thumbs down. He was secure in the knowledge that the government would not be defeated. Votes are declared by order of the parties, from the largest to the smallest. Manly said by the time it was his turn he voted no “on principle”, the same as the Conservatives had already done. He said he had promised voters to fight for action on climate change, and that he would not support funding the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. 

EARLY BOXING DAY – If you’re a boxing fan this is for you. Eli Wyse will head the Snuneymuxw Fight Night card on Saturday at the Snuneymuxw community gym on Totem Road. There will be close to a dozen bouts. Wyse is a B.C. Golden Gloves champ and sees it as a chance to open the door to other youths who think about boxing, adding hopefully some day they’ll be able to main event a card on the reserve.

WESTJET HAS NEW OWNERS – Onex Corp. announced Wednesday it has formally taken over Calgary-based WestJet for $5 billion including assumed debt. The closing comes following the final regulatory approval by the Canadian Transportation Agency. Onex started the process in May, paying $31 per share and will keep the airline as a privately held company. Onex invests and manages capital on behalf of its shareholders, institutional investors and high net worth clients from around the world.

 

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