July 31, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Port of Nanaimo CEO Ian Marr has been elected President of the Association of Pacific Ports. He was elected at the annual conference in mid-July in Portland. Nanaimo will host the conference in August, 2020. There have been two other presidents of the APP from Nanaimo: Don Beaton in 1985-86, and Gino Sedola in 1995-96. The association includes 27 members and 47 associate members, from Canada, the United States West and Hawaii, and Tonga and Taiwan.

WE’VE BEEN FRAMED – A postage stamp featuring the Nanaimo Bar has been turned over the to the city. Simon Cumming, Director of Government & Community Affairs, Canada Post, presented Mayor Leonard Krog with a framed Nanaimo bar stamp on Tuesday. The Nanaimo Museum has a small exhibit dedicated to the bar, and already showcases the stamp and the Sweet Canada stamp collection. The new, framed stamp will hang in City Hall. The Nanaimo bar has gained international recognition and has become an iconic symbol of our city over the past half century.

July 30

AMAZING NANAIMO - Nanaimo is in the spotlight tonight as the Amazing Race television series focusses on our community. The show is on CTV at 9 p.m.

OVERCOMING – Parksville MLA Michelle Stilwell has posted on her Facebook page on another obstacle she's overcome. Last week she was walking, with the help of a mechancial device. Most recently she tried an electric-assist mountain bike for the first time during Spinal Cord Injury BC’s BBQ at Diver Lake. "It was awesome! Roots, hills, uneven terrain ...there’s no stopping me now. I can’t wait to get out and explore more trails. Any recommendations?" Spinal Cord Injury BC Tourism Nanaimo Tourism Vancouver Island

TO THE DUMBASS driver in Saanich who tossed the butt of a cannabis joint out his car window, right during high-fire season. That resulted in a $575 fine under the Wildfire Act. On top of that, the driver got nailed for speeding through a playground, resulting in another $253 fine. Then his driver’s license revealed that he hadn’t changed his address when he moved, adding another $109 fine, bringing the total to $937. That’s a message to all drivers, use your ashtray, don't speed and keep your licence up to date.

ONLY IN NANAIMO – The first five new automated speed enforcement cameras around the province will be activated Monday, and Nanaimo is getting the only one on Vancouver Island. Colin Hynes of the Ministry of Public Safety, says the remaining 30 will be installed in a phased approach wrapping up next spring. The new cameras will ticket drivers entering these intersections well over the posted speed limit on a red, yellow or green light.


GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – It is truly mind blowing. Nanaimo city council declared a climate emergency and almost immediately the sun came out and we had bright sunshine and warm temperatures for days. If that’s the result, why didn’t they declare the emergency a lot earlier?

JUST AS AMAZING – The Regional District has rejected the idea of giving a mileage allowance for board members and volunteers who walk or bike to meetings. RDN directors who drive to meetings are paid 58 cents per kilometre. The RDN executive committee had asked for a staff report on compensation for non-motorized transportation. The report called “for an equivalent mileage rate for alternative means of transportation” and would be income and taxable. Sanity prevailed and the idea was rejected.


Friday, July 26

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin is launching a Youth Advisory Council and is looking for members. The Youth Advisory Council will be a guiding body to advise her on relevant issues impacting young people and identify ways to engage the next generation of British Columbians. The Council will meet 3 to 5 times a year, via teleconference, with at least one in-person meeting. Initiatives and activities will be determined by the Council and the Lieutenant Governor. READ MORE 

Thursday, July 25

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – You want to know about university life? Vancouver Island University has a new blog –  VIU Blog  – with tips to make university life easier. It’s posted by VIU students who have already experienced it and share their knowledge. From how to pay for university, to what to do if you’re struggling, to finding your tribe, students who have walked the same halls and taken the same courses pass on their best advice. The VIU Blog aims to answer all the little questions students and prospective students frequently ask, three VIU experts share advice to help students navigate this path. Sounds interesting, and it’s free. Check it out. VIU BLOG

GUESS WHO’S COMING – Pamela Anderson is listed as one of the guests for the gala event and fundraiser to launch of MP Paul Manly’s re-election campaign next week (Aug 2 at 7:30 p.m.) at the Nanaimo Curling Club. Along with Anderson, Green party leader MP Elizabeth May will be there. Manly won the byelection with 38 per cent of the vote, almost double the nearest competitor, and latest polls show him maintaining his popularity.


Wednesday, July 24w

GOOD MORNING NANAIMOThe Amazing Race Canada will feature Nanaimo next week. The announcement was made Tuesday on the CTV reality show. The Nanaimo episode marks a return to the Island for The Amazing Race Canada. Last season’s race began at Hatley Park National Historic Site in Colwood outside Victoria, and after a swing through B.C. and Yukon the contestants were back in the area for challenges on Salt Spring Island, Duncan and Shawnigan Lake. Amazing Race Canada executive producer Mark Lysakowski calls the Island “a beautiful oasis in the country. The rest of the country’s kind of freezing cold but, you’re here in this magical, dewy forest and you’re wishing, ‘Oh my God, why don’t I live here?” he said.

TALK TO MLA MICHELLE STILWELL – If you want to know anything about Nanaimo-Parksville provincial electoral district, the local MLA has two open houses coming up. Tomorrow (Thurday), 10 a.m to 11:30 A.M. at Oliver Woods Community Centre and the in Lantzville, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Lantzville Legion.

GET READY FOR MORE DAYLIGHT – The public consultation on daylight time in B.C. has wrapped up, with more people making submissions than any previous consultation in the province's history – 223,273 people filled out the online questionnaire during a four-week period. Premier John Horgan said, in addition to the questionnaire, the government received as many as 30,000 emails on the issue. He said he hasn’t seen the tabulation but has a good idea of where this is headed. A decision on seasonal time changes, staying and permanently on daylight time will depend on what happens south of the border. Washington and Oregon have already passed legislation to permanently remain on daylight time. In California, a referendum found a majority of voters favoured eliminating time changes.


When the load gets hard to bear,
heck this out – help is available


Tuesday, July 23

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Monday night's house fire left a Syrian refugee family of seven without a home and their possesseions after living in Nanaimo for three years and getting a fresh start. The family and their sponsors had been fund raising to help bring more of the Al Zamal family here from a refugee camp in Jordan. Caitlin Johnston said it's back to square one for the family and the people helping out. Johnson says her group is looking to cover the costs of re-establishing the family – refurnishing a whole home for seven people as well as bedding, towels, linens. Coastal Community Savings Credit Union is accepting donations under the name “AZ Sponsorship group. I'll bet if you checked around your house you'd find lots that you could donate to help this family back on their feet.

HIS DAY IN COURT – The city’s former chief operations officer, Brad McRae, will get his day in court. The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has agreed to hear his complaint against the city. McRae claims the city violated his rights and discriminated against him when he was fired without cause following a termination hearing he couldn’t attend due to medical reasons. McRae was on medical leave when then-chief administrative officer, Tracy Samra, announced he was no longer employed with the city. McCrae told the News Bulletin that the tribunal has confirmed his case is strong enough to go to a hearing, and the way his case was handled could be in violation of the human rights code.

THREE MEMBERS OF THE BRIGADOON DANCE ACADEMY competed at the ScotDance Canada Championships in Moncton, N.B., this month. And they all finished in the top three in their events. Congrats to Annalise Lam, in the 14-year-old group, Gabrielle Colonna, in the 19-20-year-old group, and Miranda Lam in the 15-year-old group. They all train in Nanaimo with Brigadoon’s Diena Henry.

 A LITTLE BIT LATE - A medical emergency involing a B.C. Ferries crew member led to two sailings cancelled on the Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route yesterday. The 11:05 a.m. sailing from Horseshoe Bay was been cancelled, as well as the 1:25 p.m. from Departure Bay. Everything returned to normal with the following sailings, leaving some customers about two hours late in their travel.

Monday, July 22, 2019

HELLO NANAIMO – Everyone seems to have survived the annual marine festival celebrations, so now it's on to other things. A great big good morning to a pair of local BMXers who are making a name for themselves on the world stage at only nine years old. Piper Graaten and Alex Booth, born only a few days apart in December and often mistaken for twins, sit atop the Canadian leaderboard in their age bracket. Booth is in Belgium for his first international championship. Way to go, guys.

THE EVER-POPULAR Nanaimo Car Trunk Sale is back this Saturday at the Country Club Centre parking lot, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. You never know, that bargain you’ve been looking for might just be there. More than 100 vendors will have their used items from the trunk of their. This free-to-attend event is designed to re-use items and to reduce the amount of waste in the landfill. Vendor spots are still available so register in advance by emailing 

THE NANAIMO SPORT ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS Athlete Assistance Program has stepped up to help Tayden De Pol, 16, of the Nanaimo Riptides swim team meet expenses at major swim meets this summer. So far this year,  he competed at the Canadian Swimming Trials in Toronto and then medalled at the Western Canadian championships in Edmonton. This month he’s at junior nationals in Calgary and in August it’s on to senior nationals in Winnipeg. READ MORE


July 20

HELLO NANAIMO – It’s Bathtubbing weekend, although renamed Marine Festival, so go out and enjoy all the events downtown tonight. The race is Sunday morning. Enjoy, enjoy.

THE LIONS PAVILLION in Maffeo Sutton Park is in for a facelift. The City has issued a request for proposals for a mural on the bottom skirting of the pavilion. Longtime Lion’s Club member Bob Rowledge said it's going to be a special project and extra care has to be taken.

VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIVERSITY Faculty of Education Professor Dr. Amanda Wager’s new appointment as Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Community Research in Art, Culture and Education will provide her with the opportunity to create a youth-led community research initiative. Read all about it HERE


July 17, 2019

HELLO NANAIMO – If anyone personifies bathtub racing in Nanaimo one woman has been there, done that. “Mom” Margaret Johnson is being honoured on the commemorative coin and as parade marshal at the Sailpast on Wheels parade as part of the Nanaimo Marine Festival this coming weekend. She is a long-time volunteer and a former vice-commodore. Margaret’s husband George was in the inaugural race to Vancouver, and they have taken part in racing and volunteering ever since. Their son Paul raced alongside George for many years, and daughter Wendy is still an active member of the bathtub society executive. The Sailpast on Wheels is Saturday from Victoria Crescent along Commercial Street and Front Street to Maffeo Sutton Park, starting at 10:30 a.m.

STONE COLD – Stone Soup which had been serving food on Nicol Street to homeless people for more than a year was shut down Monday as the tent it operated out of was dismantled and tenants Tanya and Doug Hiltz were evicted. They have now approached the city for help in reopening. The Hiltzes, through the Wisteria Community Association, started Stone Soup in the backyard and nearby property of their rented home in March, 2018, running afoul of city regulations. The operation served about 150 people a night, the Hiltzes said. FULL STORY

Monday, July 15

HELLO NANAIMO – Now that the silly boats have had their day in the sun, the Nanaimo Marine Festival begins Friday night with the bathtub race on Sunday. In addition to Sunday’s race, there’s the Bathtub Days parade, the Sail Past on Wheels Fun Parade, fireworks display, an arts and crafts fair, food vendors, beer gardens, entertainment stage, a children’s craft tent, displays, water sports and more. For a full schedule, hit the link https://www.bathtubbing.com/

FROM FAR AND WIDE – The Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competition in Parksville is attracting artists from virtually all over the globe. Witness the fact that Ilya Filimontsev of Russia took first place on Sunday in the solo division for his sculpture Icarus. He has been sculpting sand since 2005, and has participated in more than 100 international competitions. Second place in the solo division went to Enguerrand David from Brussels, Belgium, for his Pinocchio on Vacation at Okanagan Lake. All the sculptures are open for public viewing until Aug. 18, by donation. See all the winners in all categories. FULL STORY

Sunday, July 14

HELLO NANAIMO – Kudos to the  Nanaimo Track and Field Club after four of its athletes were selected to Team BC. Keaton Heisterman (800m, U18), Ethan Katzberg (Hammer throw, U18), Sonya Urbanowicz (Pole Vault, U16) and Nate Paris (Pentathlon, U16) will compete at the Canadian Youth Track and Field Championships in Cape Breton next month. They racked up a whole bunch of medals at the B.C. Athletics Track and Field Championship Jamboree in Kamloops last weekend. READ MORE

PLAYING IN THE SAND - Why don't you jump in your car one day between now and Aug. 18 and see the 2019 Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition. Admission is by donation, you can't get much better than that. Proceeds from your donation support local non-profit organizations with approx. $63,000 per year being donated back to these volunteer community groups. Since 1999 The Parksville Beach Festival Society has donated $620,000, thanks to donations at the gate. Please note they can't accept debit cards at the gate and they do not have a bank machine on the premises. 

Saturday, July 13

HELLO NANAIMO – Almost 14 per cent of taxpayers failed to cough up their property taxes by the July 2 deadline, so now they owe an extra five per cent. And if they don’t pay by Aug. 8 another five per cent will be added. Home Owner Grants can still be claimed to avoid additional penalties. If they didn't apply for the grant by the deadline, the penalty is on the whole tax bill before the grant reduction. The penalties are not set by the city, provincial legislation sets the terms of the late payment penalty. If you need more information on taxes go to www.nanaimo.ca/goto/taxes and if you haven’t claimed your home owner grant, go here – www.nanaimo.ca/goto/hog

RCMP CAREER FAIR – Mid-island RCMP gave high school students a taste of what it’s like to be an RCMP officer. Forty-eight students from high schools in Nanaimo, Oceanside, Port Alberni and the Cowichan Valley are spending five days of intensive police skills training at the RCMP Central Vancouver Island Youth Camp. They went through scenarios that include fitness training, how to work as a team, self-defence and tactical training while interacting with officers, including marine and police service dog units, emergency response team members and others. FULL STORY

A CONTRADICTION - Does anyone else see the contradiction? A couple of Gabriolans were featured in a newspaper story about a challenge to go plastic free this month, but the clothes they were wearing in the photo appared to be fossil based. Hmmm. Michelle MacEwen, Gabriola Island Recycling Organization general manager and environmental teacher, has six students taking part in a plastic-free challenge. No cell phones for the rest of the month? An interesting add on might be for them to list all plastics they could not do without during that period.

Thursday, July 11

HELLO NANAIMO – Street widening along Front Street is expected to be completed in a few weeks in a project designed to spruce up city’s 24-acre property, known as Port Drive. The City believes this will lay the foundation to transform the south downtown waterfront area. The extension of Front Street meets Port Dr. at the south edge of a 24-acre property across from the Port Place Shopping Centre which the city bought 2013. Community Development Director Dale Lindsay says it will address a longer-term need to improve access to the south downtown waterfront lands and the Port Authority property.

PUBLIC UTILITIES – Private entities serve the fuel industry for gas-powered vehicles, but if you’re into the electric vehicle fad, the Regional District of Nanaimo is adding 10 charging stations within its jurisdiction. The additions will bring the mid-island capacity to 98 stations. CleanBC funds 73 per cent of approved applications, ($162,222) with the remaining $60,000 carried by local governments. Once the funds are secured, the installation of the charging stations can begin in 2020.

OPEN HOUSE – We told you about this last week, but here’s a reminder that the Port of Nanaimo is holding a public open house Saturday, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the port administration building at 100 Port Dr. A lot of interest will centre around Western Canada Marine Response Corporation’s spill recovery project. Representatives will also on hand with information on the range of port operations and activities. DP World and Tourism Nanaimo will discuss the roles of their port activities and representatives from Saysutshun Newcastle Island will have information on program and facility development. And the Vehicle Processing Centre will have staff to answer questions about the facility and the Port of Nanaimo patrol vessels will be on site and staff will explain the range of operations it carries on throughout the waterfront.

July 10,

EVEN THE WHALES CO-OPERATED – You couldn’t ask for a better tourism promotion hook than the Nanaimo Dragonboat Festival got when a pod of orca whales dropped in on the event on Saturday. The killer whales swam by in front of Maffeo Sutton Park, creating one of many highlights of the Save-On-Foods Nanaimo Dragonboat Festival last weekend. “That was a first, and it was a very exciting first,” said Leslie Sutton, Festival Society spokeswoman. Other than the short orca delay, things pretty much went to plan over the festival weekend. “The weather, unfortunately, was not our friend, so we had fewer spectators down there, but for the paddlers, it’s just water, the races went well,” Sutton said.

MOVING TO NANAIMO was the right move for a 79-year-old senior. Gurmail Sidhu was at the mall to see her dentist, when she checked her lottery ticket. “I saw a lot of zeroes, and asked my son to look. I don’t have words to describe it,” she added. All those zeroes added up to half a million bucks. She came came to Canada from India 40 years ago but moved to Nanaimo only eight months ago to help her daughter. 

CONGRATULATIONS TO MLA Michelle Stilwell for being inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame. She is one of seven people and a team being inducted at Ceremonies and Dinner on Nov. 2. After an accident at the age of 17 left her quadriplegic, Michelle continued in sports and eventually became Canada’s most-decorated Paralympian, winning gold medals in two disciplines — wheelchair basketball and wheelchair racing. She sses it as an incredible honour to be recognized in her home province. She adds her love of sport was nurtured by countless people and organizations. 

Tuesday, July 9

HELLO NANAIMO – You couldn’t ask for better tourism promotion than the Nanaimo Dragonboat Festival when a pod of orca whales dropped in on the event on Saturday. The killer whales swam by right in front of Maffeo Sutton Park, creating one of many highlights of the Save-On-Foods Nanaimo Dragonboat Festival last weekend. “That was a first, and it was a very exciting first,” said Leslie Sutton, Festival Society spokeswoman. Other than the short orca delay, things pretty much went to plan over the festival weekend. “The weather, unfortunately, was not our friend, so we had fewer spectators down there, but for the paddlers, it’s just water … the races went well,” Sutton said.

MOVING TO NANAIMO was the right move for a 79-year-old senior – Gurmail Sidhu was at the mall to see her dentist, when she checked her ticket. “I saw a lot of zeroes, and asked my son to look. I don’t have words to describe it,” she added. All those zeroes added up to half a million bucks. She came came to Canada from India 40 years but moved to Nanaimo only eight months ago to help her daughter. 

Monday, July 8

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Two local school teachers, Brett Hancock and Chad Jobe, are finalists for the 2019 B.C. Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education. Hancock is nominated for school leadership and Jobe for social equity and diversity. Jobe was recognized, in part, for his work with the ABOUT (Alternative Based Opportunities United by Teamwork) program.

HOP ON THE BUS – The South Nanaimo Local Area Transit Plan will on the agenda at the Regional District’s transit select committee meeting Thursday. A draft plan has the long-awaited Duke Point ferry terminal third on a list of priorities for service. The proposed route would service the terminal as well as industrial zones in Cedar and run from downtown Nanaimo, along the Trans Canada Highway, past South Parkway Plaza, Harmac Road and onto Duke Point Highway to the terminal.

SANDCASTLE TIME – The Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition in Parksville opens to the public at 2 p.m. on Friday, July 12. This year, 29 international master sculptors will face off in a 30-hour competition that ends with an awards ceremony on July 14. Last year, 125,908 people saw the exhibition. Event Manager Wendy Sears hopes to bring that number up to 150,000. “This is probably Parksville’s signature event. I’d say it’s probably the largest-attended event on Vancouver Island. The exhibition will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day until Aug. 18. Entry is by a suggested donation of $4 per person.

GIVE AN INCH AND THEY WANT A MILE – Now that cannabis is legal, some users want changes to local bylaws to allow for indoor smoking in specific situations. The Cannabis Buyers Club in Victoria has a petition to the Capital Regional District (CRD) to allow for a variance in its bylaw, which prohibits indoor smoking. They want a permit process where businesses and event organizers be exempt from the regulation. The Cannabis Buyers Club has been at its location since 2001 and has a smoking room, where members can smoke or vape cannabis.

Friday, July 5, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Nanaimo Media Man Tod Maffin has launched a new internet podcast looking at Nanaimo. It starts out with a very interesting look into the legacy of Raymond Collishaw. It’s worth checking out at https://anchor.fm/nanaimo/

DRAGONS ON THE WATER - this weekend is the Save-On-Foods Nanaimo Dragonboat Festival, Friday to Sunday, July 5-7, at Maffeo Sutton Park. This year's races will include a new event, two 1,500-metre-long Guts and Glory races. Mark Webster, team manager for the Save-On-Foods Dragonslayers, said compared to 200-metre sprints and 500-metre heats, the Guts and Glory is like a marathon. FULL STORY

WHAT ELECTION? It is less than four months away, but already the candidates are starting to hit the bricks. John Hirst and the Conservatives have a Super Saturday door knocking drive this weekend. You can go to the new campaign office at 3-5144 Metral Drive and join in or sign up for other campaign jobs. The NDP campaign is also under way with candidate Bob Chamberlin posting video messages on social media. Get used to it, that’s the way it going to be for the next three-plus months. 

THE BUS IS COMING – even on holidays. The Regional District of Nanaimo has sanctioned transit service 365 days of the year. We’ll now be able to take the bus on New Year’s Day, Christmas Day and Good Friday, starting Jan. 1, 2020. It won’t be a full schedule, but it will cost the RDN $48 grand a year.


July 4, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – In case you feel the earth having indigestion, there have been numerous reports of earthquakes today from Alaska to southern California, including B.C. Most of them, including some on or offshore northern Vancouver Island, have been above magnitude 6 or higher. A 6.4 magnitude quake caused considerable damage in California. There have been no damage reports from a 6.2 quake near Bella Bella, B.C. My earthquake alert has been going off dozens and dozens of times today.

OPEN HOUSE AT PORT OF NANAIMO - Everyone wants to know more about the Port of Nanaimo, so here’s your chance. The Port is holding an Open House on Saturday, July 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Port Administration building at 100 Port Drive. There will be vessel tours along with light refreshments. The Port’s partnership representatives will give an insight to a wide range of operations and activities. That will include:

  • WCMRC – Western Canada Marine Response Corporation with a specialized vessel and personnel to answer questions;
  • DP World and Tourism Nanaimo; both have important roles in s port activities; 
  • Saysutshun (Newcastle Island) information on program and facility development,
  • The Vehicle Processing Centre, just steps away from the open house location, so visitors can also learn more about this new fully-operational facility;
  • Port Patrol Division staff, vessels and information on a wide range of activities.

So, mark your calendar for Saturday July 13 to learn about local benefits and its global reach from the Port of Nanaimo and various partners. 

BRIDGE WORK DELAYED - A key link to and from downtown is shut down longer than first expected on refurbishing the Bastion Street Bridge. It will remain closed to vehicle traffic until July 16. The link is also closed to pedestrians today (Thursday). City construction project manager Marcus van Syl said the depth of the bridge deck was shallower than records from the 1970s indicated. 

IF YOU DIDN’T KNOW, the third weekly Commercial Street Market goes tonight in Downtown Nanaimo. If you’ve never been there you owe it to yourself to see what’s going on. It’s open from 5-9 p.m.

DRAGONS ON THE WATER - this weekend is the Save-On-Foods Nanaimo Dragonboat Festival, Friday to Sunday, July 5-7, at Maffeo Sutton Park. This year's races will include a new event, two 1,500-metre-long Guts and Glory races. Mark Webster, team manager for the Save-On-Foods Dragonslayers, said compared to 200-metre sprints and 500-metre heats, the Guts and Glory is like a marathon. FULL STORY

THE PLIGHT OF THE ROHINGYA has been in the news, but not that much is known about their plight. Calgary physician Dr. Fozia Alvi will present first-hand accounts of their struggles and resilience during a speaking engagement in Nanaimo July 13. Alvi is a Nobel Prize nominee who has also received the Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International. Her work includes highlighting the struggles of the Rohingya of Myanmar in Canada and abroad plus charitable work in Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh. Alvi will speak at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre on Saturday, July 13, from 7-9 p.m. Admission is free via online registration. 


Wednesday, July 3

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Summer is formally here. The first noon cannon firing of the season was a noon Monday and will continue through the summer on Front Street. The old fort is an extension of the Nanaimo Museum, open seven days a week from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. through till Labour Day. 

KUDOS TO THE CHEF – The Toronto Sun has given quite a salute to Vancouver chef Ned Bell, who has impacted the way thousands of chefs and individuals around the world buy and consume seafood. Bell  was recently honoured by Vancouver Island University. He is an award-winning chef advocate, keynote speaker, educator and founder of Chefs for Oceans, that raises awareness and advocates for responsible seafood choices. He launched this organization with an 8,700-km bike ride across Canada in 2014, staging dozens of awareness building events along the way. Bell’s commitment to seafood stewardship has only continued to grow ever since. He has worked in some of the country’s finest restaurants in Niagara, Toronto, Calgary, Kelowna and Vancouver, where he is the culinary director at the prestigious Vancouver Club. FULL STORY

RDN APPOINTMENT – Alternate director Joe Stanhope will take over Clarke Gourlay’s Regional District responsibilities until a byelection is held. Gourlay died Saturday in a hiking-mountaineering accident in Strathcona Park. Stanhope is a past RDN chairman.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - A reminder you have to pay your property taxes by today or face a penalty for late payment. Postmarks don't count, you have to go to city hall by end of business today to make payment. Other than that, have a great day in Nanaimo.

A SAD NOTE from MLA Michelle Stilwell informing about the death of Regional District of Nanaimo Area G director Clarke Gourlay on Saturday night. He lost his life in a hiking accident in Strathcona Park, pursuing his passion for mountaineering. He was a man with an enormous vision and a dream to start a business in an industry he knew nothing about. He started learning about cows and his wife Nancy learned to make cheese. His energy, passion, and drive were infectious and, along with Nancy, an incredibly involved and supportive family, a dedicated staff team, and a great community, Clarke built this business into what it is today – Read more at Little Qualicum Cheeseworks and MooBerry Winery on Facebook.

THEY GET THE PICTURE – Parksville is giving a rebate of up to $100 for property owners to install security cameras. The idea is not totally new, Nanaimo looked at the concept of cameras downtown on Commercial Street a number of years ago, but privacy concerns put that out of focus. Parkville residents will get up to $100 if they buy and install cameras after today (July 2). Parksville is funding $2,500 this year on a first-come, first-served basis, and that will go up to $5,000 next year. That’s a drop in the bucket when you consider the cost of some criminal activity, and instances where lives have been saved because of security surveillance.

Monday, July 1, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Can you believe it’s 20 years since Eaton’s disappeared from the retail scene in Canada, closing its store at Woodgrove Centre in 1999? That left a lot of people out of jobs, and a lot of friendships. Now those former employees are planning a 20-year reunion on July 13. They’re coming from far and wide, as far away as Toronto. They expect more than 80 people. Hats off to Inga Gerard, Stephanie Harris and Glenna McCaffery who are organizing the reunion. It’s being held at a private residence on July 13, from 3-8 p.m., including a dinner. Woodgrove Centre has graciously kicked in with some gifts. You can call Gerard at 250-758-5786, Harris at 250-390-4243, or McCaffery at 250-802-9852 if you’d like to know more.

CORFIELD TRYING AGAIN – It looks like we’re getting a do-over from the federal byelection. The Liberal Party has confirmed that Michelle Corfield will be the candidate for October 21 general election. So far, incumbent Paul Manly of the Greens, Conservative John Hirst and New Democrat Bob Chamberlin have been confirmed by their parties. No word from the others so far. The latest polling data shows the race virtually unchanged with Manly having a solid lead and the Conservatives and NDP still tied at 23 per cent each. Manly’s latest figure is 36 per cent. There has been hardly any movement for the other parties.

A PLACE TO LIVE – City council has approved a development permit for 120-unit rental housing development. West Urban Developments plans to build a five-storey building and a four-storey building – at 4745 Ledgerwood Rd., beside Jordan Avenue. Frank Limshue, development manager with West Urban Developments, said construction will take 14 to 15 months after a building permit is issued. The company also plans to build three 71-unit four-storey apartment buildings at Junction Avenue in the south end. There has been a lot of activity in apartment developments recently – demand for apartments is high and developers are finally catching up.

REAL RECYCLING – Dustin Seibel is one of the good guys in our community. He’ll take unwanted bicycles, fix them and then make sure those who need transportation can get it. The way it works, you donate your bikes and Dustin brings them up to snuff and gives them to new homes – totally free for kids’ sizes. Adult bikes sell at low prices, and all the money goes toward the cost of parts and upgrading. Check out Vibe Bikes at www.vibe-bikes.com or drop in and say hello. Business hours vary so it's best to call us first if you can. Drop offs welcome anytime just by the fence. You can phone or text to 250-797-4950.

June 29-30

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Grade 12 students are off to face the challenges of the big wide world. As they graduated they were challenged to “Go out and change the world,” by Superintendent Scott Saywell in the form of a YouTube video posted Monday. Singing and strumming a guitar, he told the students no matter what lies ahead, “you still don’t know what you don’t know,” FULL STORY

UNEXPECTED DRAMA – People crowding into the Thursday night street market got more than the expected when a man brandished a knife and threatened people. He was arrested by Nanaimo RCMP after he was tackled by a market-goer. The suspect threw his knife in a vendor’s basket and started running down the street after a security guard arrived on the scene. Kim Smythe, CEO of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce CEO, which organizes the event, said the night market is safe, with many security measures. Smythe termed the police responseas fabulous, with numerous officers immediately on scene. He said the chamber will meet with RCMP and city staff to go over the incident and discuss initiatives to improve the situation.

A TOUR DE ROCK FIRST – For the first time ever, the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock will have a father and daughter riding on a team. Const. Cydney MacNeill, 34, of Nanaimo RCMP and her father, Jack, 62, who retired in 2015 after 40 years with the RCMP and is a reserve constable in Duncan, will cycle in the fundraiser. They are riding to battle pediatric cancer whichtheir family hasn’t dodged. In 1986, about 18 months after Cydney was born and her brother Tom was just three, Jack was diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer that formed a tumour on his tongue. Chris Bush has the FULL STORY

TAXED TO DEATH – Property tax increases may be the death knell for the last fully operational Royal Canadian Legion in Greater Victoria after the branch got a $104,231.78 tax bill, a $32,000 jump from the year before. BC Assessment adjudicated that 35 per cent of the branch’s property value comes form “recreation/not for profit,”  for about $36,000 in property tax, while 65 per cent comes from “business or other,” totalling more than $67,000, all due on July 2. A majority of municipalities give tax relief to legion branches including in Langley, Sidney and Burnaby which provide full exemptions from the municipal portion of the tax.

For sale by owner - 6217 Waterbury Road

$689,900 – North Nanaimo, well established, quiet neighborhood, minutes from McGirr Elementary School and Dover Bay High School, as well as a popular sports field. The central location provides easy access to many shops and restaurants within 3 kms. View of ocean and mountains from the upper deck. 2 storey with basement, Built in 1993. 
Garage – 24 x 25 double attached, Assessment – $721,000 (2019) Lot 6,460 sq. ft., 1482 sq. ft. Upper floor – 864 sq. ft. Basement – 805 sq. ft. developed plus 600 sq. ft. crawl space. 250-756-9356 (ask for Roy)

Friday, June 28, 2019

Dr. Ralph Nilson

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The community staged a gala farewell with best wishes to Dr. Ralph Nilson as he retires at the end of this month as President and Vice-Chancellor of Vancouver Island University. He's retiring but he will not be forgotten. His last month at the helm has been full of goodbyes, speeches, awards, gifts, and tributes. “It’s been an incredible privilege to be here, and I look forward to watching the continued growth of this institution," Nilson said at a community salute earlier this week. Jenn McGarrigle has a COMPLETE  REPORT

TIME TO PAY UP – Your property taxes are due on Tuesday, don’t wait until Monday, a statutory holiday. A postmark is not sufficient evidence of payment on time. If you don’t make it by deadline time you will be assessed a penalty. If you are internet literate, you can pay online and also claim your home owners and seniors grants on the city web page. The city page is quite convoluted so it may require some searching to find the information. The big thing to know is you CAN NOT pay by credit card. Go to your bank’s website's payment page and search for “Nanaimo” and select the “Taxes” option. HERE IS THE CITY PAGE. 

BEWARE OF LOW-LIFES  – Whenever there’s someone caught between a rock and a hard place there’s always a scumbag ready to take advantage. Spotted on social media, someone trying to find accommodation and being ripped off in a rental scam.The scammers advertise on the internet, claiming they are out of town and have the keys with them for the rental. They ask for first month’s rent plus damage deposit up front and they will send the keys. Several people have been duped. In a really tight housing market people are desperate, so be careful. Transferring money to someone you don't know is never a good idea.

Thursday, July 27, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Hey, if you have no plans for dinner tonight, Nanaimo cops are doing their bit to help B.C. Special Olympics with Cops, Pop and Pizza tonight (Thursday) at Boston Pizza on Turner Road and the Island Highway, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Special Olympic athletes will be there to accept your donations, 100 per cent of which goes toward supporting athletes to reach their goals. Nanaimo RCMP members will be celebrity servers. What’s more noticeable than being escorted to your table by a police officer? There’s no escaping if you’re out of town, other Boston Pizza locations throughout the province are holding similar Cops, Pop and Pizza events today.

FERRY TRAVEL WOES – Ferry repairs over the long weekend will create travel challenges for B.C. Ferries and passengers. The Queen of Coquitlam has been removed from service, resulting in 34 sailings June 27-July 1 being cancelled between Horseshoe Bay and Langdale, replaced by eight additional sailings first thing in the morning – some as early as 4 a.m. – and late at night. That impacts three Nanaimo sailings over the next few days as the Queen of Cowichan diverts to the Sunshine Coast route. The Horseshoe Bay-to-Departure Bay 11:40 p.m. sailings on June 28 and July 2 have been cancelled and a Horseshoe Bay-to-Departure Bay sailing set for 7:20 p.m. tonight (June 27) has been delayed until 9:40 p.m.

PORN EARNS PRISON TIME – A 31-year-old Nanaimo man has a new address at the crowbar hotel after he was sentenced to nine months in jail for photographing explicit images of two former girlfriends and posting them online. The identities cannot be revealed due to a publication ban, but the man pleaded guilty to one count of publication of an intimate image without consent and two counts of secretly observing and recording nudity in a private place. He was sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo on Wednesday. What we see very seldom, he was handed three consecutive terms of three months each. FULL REPORT 

THURSDAY STREET MARKET – A reminder that the weekly Thursday night street market on Commercial Street goes tonight. There are more than 100 vendors, so check it out.

June 26

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Today's daily buzz is not the passenger-only ferry running between Nanaimo and Vancouver – it's still a day late and a dollar short. As has become a regular routine, Island Ferries Services (IFSL), says funding for the ferry has fallen through. “We were frankly set back and disappointed when a second expected source of income didn’t come through,” said David Marshall of IFSL. “That’s obviously set us back and had some complications elsewhere. Marshall said they’re now working with two entities to replace the lost funding. FULL STORY

FUNNY MONEY - The Nanaimo RCMP tells us there has been a significant increase in counterfeit Canadian currency at retail outlets in Nanaimo. There have been dozens of incidents, beginning May 21 and as recently as this week. There are four or five suspects, one female. In a majority of incidents reported, $100 bills have the identical serial number on each bill-EJS8511162. A common practice in passing counterfeit money is to buy an inexpensive item thereby maximizing the amount of real money being obtained. Here's how you can spot counterfeit bills before they end up in your till:

  •  Feel the note. Canadian and U.S. currency has raised ink at different points one each note. If you run your fingernail over the shoulders of the portrait on the bill you should feel that ink.
  •  Look at the note: Genuine bills have a finish that doesn't scrape off and colours that don't run when they get wet. The holographic strip should be embedded in the note, not a sticker that can peel off.
  •  Flip the note: The window on each note should have the same colours and details on both sides. It should also have a metallic portrait that mirrors the large face on the bill and changes colour when it's tilted. The windows also have small numbers that match the value of the note.

If you have any information, 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. FULL REPORT 



June 23, 2019

TODAY'S FORECAST – A mix of sun and cloud. 30 pe rcent chance of showers this afternoon. High 21. UV index 8 or very high. 
TONIGHT - Partly cloudy with 30 per cent chance of showers. Low 11.

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – I don't want to start the day on a downer, but ready or not, today is the longest day of daylight for the year. From here on the days are getting shorter.

THE TOM HARRIS CHARITY GOLF CLASSIC on Saturday was a roaring success, raising $308,000 for the Tom Harris Community Foundation to continue his legacy of giving. Last year’s first-ever event raised more than $250,000. Tom’s son Tony who created the golf classic last year, says it is a reflection of the incredible impact his father had on our community and those he touched along his journey. “Dad would be incredibly proud of this community and those who are making this happen.”

HATS OFF to the South End Community Association for staging another successful Miner's Heritage Picnic, the 27th annual, on Saturday. It was all aboutt heritage and family fun. How else could it be? They had a pancake breakfast, speeches, a heritage walk in the south end, a pet parade, petting farm and pony rides, a climbing wall, painting, tea and other activities. They do a great job of uplifting their community.

COUN. SHERYL ARMSTRONG continues to provide intermittent reports about her city council role. Here latest has one point that stands out. She had an interesting discussion with the International Association of Fire Personell. There is concern about the time it takes to put out fires in electric cars. The batteries take a long time to extinguish and fire personnel must stay on scene. With new technology comes new challenges. HERE'S HER REPORT.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

TODAY'S FORECAST – A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of showers late this afternoon. High 22. UV index 8 or very high. Tonight, Partly cloudy. Low 12

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Well, if nothing else, the earth is moving. The coast along Oregon has been shakin' this morning with no less than six earthquakes in less than an hour, reported at around 4 a.m. ranging as high as 5.4 magnitude.

June 21

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The Commercial Street Night Market surpassed expectations as thousands crowded Commercial Street on opening night. There were more than 130 vendors, double last year's participation. Kim Smythe, CEO of the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce was riding high after the success of the 2019 kick-off market. Every Thursday from 5-9 p.m. until the end of August, Commercial Street will be closed to vehicle traffic and the street will become a pedestrian mall with artisan vendors, entertainers, places to buy food and drink, and more.

GETTING AROUND - Our new MP will need some fast transportation while flitting from event to event this weekend after returning from Ottawa. Paul Manly is slated to be at the National Indigenous Peoples Day tonight at the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre, 2595 McCullough Rd where he speaks at 6 p.m. Then he’ll dash over to the Edgewood and Haven Society Run for Recovery tonight, 5.30 - 8.30 p.m. at Westwood Lake. The South End Community Association’s Miners’ Heritage Picnic goes Saturday at Deverill Square on Irwin Street, from 8:30 a.m. with food and music until 2.00 p.m. Manly is scheduled to show up at 10 a.m. or so. On Sunday he will don a chef’s hat for the Oceanview Church celebrity chef event. He’ll be there at 10:30. The church is at 381 Davis Rd in Ladysmith. Still on Sunday, he’s at the Lantzville food bank some time around 3 p.m. There will be music and food. Food donations will be accepted from 3-8p.m, 7890 Clark Drive.

THE GREAT GETAWAY - Victoria is always such an easy target for stories of the weird and wonderful. A 36-year-old woman faces numerous charges after cabins aboard a Seaspan ferry were broken into. Police said crew members reported a woman stealing items from the cabins. After being confronted by the crew, she fled. Police searched the area, before a crew member spotted her trying to make her escape by paddling out to a offshore sailboat. She was arrested for break and enter, theft and mischief.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – If you thought you might be able to enjoy a beer or a glass of wine while sailing the bright blue sea on a BC Ferry this summer, it ain't gonna happen. The Liquor Regulation Branch is apparently withholding the application from BC Ferries because they believe there’s broader public interest involved. Graeme Johnston, president of the ferry workers union, said it appears the government is making sure this is done right. The Ministry of Attorney General, which oversees liquor licensing, said no specific public policy decisions have been made regarding liquor service on the main ferry route. So, if you want libation, you’ll have to head north and ride the ferry between Port Hardy and Port Rupert.

MORE PARKING AVAILABLE – Its a lot easier now to visit Mount Benson Regional Park – a bunch of extra parking is now open. The lot has more than 100 spaces. A new trail from the Benson View Road lot to the mountain is expected to be completed by the end of the month. A detour to the existing trail will be provided along Harrow Road, with temporary signs pointing visitors in the direction of the detour. The existing parking lot and floating boardwalk will remain open, and the existing parking area at Witchcraft Lake will remain open.

Wednesday, June 19

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – A big shout out to KC’s Boutique owners Karen Griffin and Connie Cyr who recently handed $10,300 to Nanaimo Community Hospice Society. The money was raised through KC’s Boutique annual Fashion for Compassion high tea and fashion show.

ONE MORE REMINDER – The Thursday Night Street Market begins its season tomorrow (Thursday) on Commercial Street. If you've never been to one, go for it. Guaranteed fun for the entire family, and a great way to mix and mingle. About 120 vendors are expected along with nine food trucks and plenty of live entertainment. It starts at 5 p.m. and runs until about 9 p.m

June 18, 2019

THE SOUTH END COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION is gearing up for its 27th annual Miners' Heritage Picnic at Deverill Park, June 22. They'll have food, live music, pony rides, pet parade, memorial tea, climbing wall, petting farm, face-painting and more! www.nanaimosouthend.ca

OLD CITY MUSIC - Free Friday noon hour live music performances are back at the Old City Quarter with its Sounds of the Summer series. Jazz, blues, classical and world music groups perform. The series takes place Fridays at noon at Fitzwilliam Gate, 427 Fitzwilliam St., in June; Wesley Square, 335 Wesley St., in July; and Heritage Mews, 321 Wesley St., in August. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

THE THURSDAY NIGHT STREET MARKET begins its season this week on Commercial Street. If you've never been to one, go for it. Guaranteed fun for the entire family, and a great way to mix and mingle. About 120 vendors are expected along with nine food trucks and plenty of live entertainment. It starts at 5 p.m. and runs until about 9 p.m.

CONGRATULATIONS to Nanaimo’s 19-year-old Nico Janssen who is joining Royal Danish Ballet. Nico has lived in Toronto since being accepted into Canada’s National Ballet School at the age of 12. He had just finished the National Ballet of Canada’s two-year apprentice program when he applied to the Royal Danish Ballet. Earlier this year he was invited to Copenhagen for an audition and he made the cut.

IT'S TINDER DRY out there, and expected to continue into summer. The City reminds residents to be fire smart. Most brush fires that occur within the city are the result of human carelessness. Smoking, campfires and barbeques are not permitted in City parks. Propane barbeques set on low flame are permitted within the approved locations of the picnic shelters in Bowen Park and Maffeo Sutton Park or areas where a use permit is obtained. If you need to find out more on propane usage in the parks, please contact Nanaimo Parks and Recreation at 250-756-5200.

June 16

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Hey, it's time for the South End Community Association’s 27th Annual Miner’s Heritage Picnic, Deverill Park on Saturday (June 22) 8:30am-2pm. They've got food, live music, pony rides, pet parade, memorial tea, climbing wall, petting farm, miniature train ride, face-painting and more. The festivities begin with the Charles Torhjelm pancake breakfast at 8:30 am, a First Nations prayer and speakers at 11 am, and a Heritage Walk around the historic South End neighbourhood at 11:10 am. You can find out a whole lot more HERE.

TOGETHER AGAIN - The Vancouver Island Chamber Music Festival is coming to Nanaimo on Friday and Saturday. The ninth annual festival sees the reunion of two musicians who haven’t played together since the early years of the 21st century. Vancouver-based pianist Libby Yu and violinist Yuel Yawney embarked on their Musical Milestones tour. So far, the duo has performed around the Lower Mainland, and as far as Kelowna, and on June 22 they perform at St. Paul’s Anglican Church. FULL STORY

Saturday, June 15, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Here's a new one – a bear day. Students, teachers and staff told to remain indoors at Coal Tyee Elementary School after a bear was reported in the area on Friday. This isn't the first time, the school also entered into shelters-in-place for the same reasonon June 11 and 12. The instructions for shelter in place are given by the school district administration.


Friday, June 13, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO — All systems appear to be go for a new fire hall in downtown Nanaimo, to be operational by 2022. Chief Karen Fry gave city council an update on Monday of the project to replace Fire Station No. 1 at 666 Fitzwilliam St. with a new 14,500-square-foot facility for a cost of $17-million. The new station will have three floors, dorm rooms, a fitness area, an emergency communications centre and offices. Funding for the project was approved by the previous council after a reverse referendum.

MOON GAZING – If you've always wanted to have a closer look at the moon to see if it really is made of chesse, the Nanaimo Astronomy Society invest you to Maffeo Sutton Park to view Jupiter and its moons. Jupiter is at its closest to the Earth as the planets make their journey around the sun. A pair of binoculars will show Jupiter and its four major moons, and the average telescope will reveal the planet’s colourful cloud bands. Earth’s moon is also adding interesting viewing too. The Astronomy Society will have several telescopes Maffeo Sutton on Saturday. Moon viewing will start at 7 p.m. and Jupiter viewing begins at 9:30 p.m., weather permitting. If you want to know more about the Nanaimo Astronomy Society, visit its website

EXTRA JINGLE IN YOUR JEANS – It may only be an illusion, but an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction may be sweeping over you now that we’ve passed tax freedom day. That’s the first day of the year where your income is supposedly entirely your own. The Fraser Institute’s selected June 14 as this year’s federal Tax Freedom Day. The provincial Tax Freedom Day was Monday. The day is determined each year based on the tax burden for Canadian families by federal and provincial governments compared to the average income. In 2019, the average Canadian family of two or more people will pay $52,675 in total taxes. That’s 44 per cent of their annual income of $117,731 going to income taxes, carbon taxes, property taxes and more. Basically, we work for governments the first 164 days of the year before bringing any money home. 

SANITY PREVAILS - Victoria's goofy city council has backed off a cynical political manoeuvre to seek federal money for policing military events such as Remembrance Day. The city’s backtracking came after London Drugs stepped up to offer to foot the bill. Mayor Lisa Helps acknowledged the damage it had done to the city’s reputation. Clint Mahlman, London Drugs president and chief operating officer, said the company had heard veterans’ concerns, adding veterans and serving Armed Forces members should not have to worry about fighting for remembrance and political lobbying. Amen to that.

Thursday,June 13, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO — Our exalted prime minister is hell bent on banning all plactics in Canada. Nanaimo just spent more than $4 million on plastic garbage cans. Let that one percolate for a while and see if it passes the smell test. Aside from that, grocery stores will fall on hard times with much of their produce displayed in styrofoam containers. The same with the restaurant take-out industry. QF’s Central Perk take-out has been using aluminum containers for ages, so they won’t have to retool. (Yes, I know the first phase is banning only single-use plastics).

FAKE REPORT – West Shore RCMP are no longer seeking suspects in their investigation of a woman claiming she was pushed off a cliff at Thetis Lake last month. Police issued a notice that the investigation as has concluded and investigators have determined the incident did not occur as originally. Police investigated a report of a 29-year-old Sooke resident who said she was pushed off a cliff at Thetis Lake May 19, falling 12-metres into the water below.

CHARLIE BROWN IS BACK – The Dover Bay Performing Arts Academy presents the musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, with a twist. There’s a different cast on alternate nights. Director Pamela Schwarze said students did their own choreography. The Dover Bay Performing Arts Academy in the multipurpose room at Dover Bay Secondary School, 6135 McGirr Rd., from June 11 to 15 at 7 p.m. Admission is $7.

OLD CITY MUSIC - Free Friday noon hour live music performances are back at the Old City Quarter with its Sounds of the Summer series. Jazz, blues, classical and world music groups perform. The series takes place Fridays at noon at Fitzwilliam Gate, 427 Fitzwilliam St., in June; Wesley Square, 335 Wesley St., in July; and Heritage Mews, 321 Wesley St., in August. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO — The downtown street market returns in about a week – June 20. It kicks off the second year of this popular downtown promotion spearheaded by the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce. The initial Commercial Street Night Market, ran for 11 weeks last summer and proved a big success. Chamber CEO Kim Smythe said the thousands of people who filled downtown each Thursday night significantly boosted the area. Businesses said they were able to keep their doors open for the rest of the year because of the business they did during the night market.

SENIORS FACILITY CANCELLED- The presence of a supportive housing facility at 222 Corfield St. has led Berwick Retirement Communities to cancel a seniors facility at 180 Jensen Ave. East. The project would have housed approximately 250 seniors, staffed 150 employees and include a daycare. Berwick president and CEO Chris Denford said experience at other supportive housing projects of a similar nature shows they have an effect on the surrounding neighbourhood, and typically the neighbourhood has some challenges that are not conducive to seniors or children.

TAKING AIM AT THE MILITARY – Nanaimo city council is taking on Canada's military establishment. The city is urging the ministry to meet user groups to reach a land-use agreement over outdoor recreation activities at Nanaimo Military Range. Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt announced last month it will enforce boundaries of the Nanaimo Military Range near Westwood Lake. The property includes a buffer zone that covers the Westwood Ridges, which has become a popular recreational area for hikers, mountain bikers and other users over the years despite being an active weapons range. MORE


June 11, 2019

Tom Harris

TOM HARRIS’ LEGACY LIVES ON – The Tom Harris Charity Classic golf tournament June 21 at Nanaimo Golf Club continues the late Tom Harris’ dedication to helping his community. His son Tony hopes to carry on and build on the momentum of last year’s inaugural event, which raised $250,000. Last year sold out and all volunteer opportunities were oversubscribed. The golf tournament was started to give his father’s friends, colleagues and acquaintances an opportunity to get together, share in camaraderie and give back. Tony says he is aware of the impact Tom had on this community and the surrounding communities over the years, particularly with his philanthropic work, something that was bred into him, Tony said.

WAKE UP IDIOTS – There are still idiots who throw cigarette butts out of moving vehicles. A Victoria driver did just that, not realizing that Victoria Police Department Chief Del Manak was right behind him. The chief did the right thing and handed the driver a ticket which carries a $575 fine. Manak pointed to the wildfires, and the risk firefighters are put under when putting out fires, and the significant cost to citizens, nature and animals. “And then, I can’t help but think, if this is what you’re doing while you’re driving, what would you do at the park, at the lake, at the campsite”? No sympathy for the driver here.

BURNING BRIDGES – The footbridge in Bowen Park that was damaged by fire will be demolished while the city looks around for a new one. The city did an inspection after a the bridge decking was set alight early last week.Al Britton, city manager of parks operations, said the wooden structure not only suffered fire damage but is starting to deteriorate from the effects of weather.Built by the Nanaimo Lions Club, the bridge crosses the Millstone River to connect the park entrance trail at Millstone Avenue and Bradley Street.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER – a year late and a few dollars short, the Northern Sea Wolf is now serving its planned seasonal route from Port Hardy to Bella Coola. The ferry ended up costing $76 million by the time it finally went into the water, instead of the $55.7 million as budgeted. It carries up to 35 vehicles and 150 passengers.  BC Ferries conducted dock trials in May in the communities it will serve.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

GOOD SUNDAY MORNING NANAIMO —  the Cedar Heritage Bridge Group raised more than $6,000 with its 19th annual charity bridge game recently with proceeds to the Haven Society. More than 90 players and volunteers turned out for the event. The bridge club said as well as raising money it hopes to raise awareness of the work Haven Society which helps keep women and children away from violence, providing safety, food, clothing, legal advice and other support. Visit www.havensociety.com.

SPEAKING OF BIG BUCKS, half a million, not a shabby Friday evening for someone from Nanaimo who cashed in with a $500,000 Lotto Max ticket. A ticket sold in Surrey matched six of seven numbers, winning $61,000. If you were not one of them, the good news is you still have a crack at the jackpot which is even sweeter – it’s gone up to $65 million and 10 chances at $1 million on Tuesday. Lotto Max is now twice a week.

CONGRATS RICK SCOTT – Protection Island’s Rick Scott is going into the B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame and will receive a star on the Walk of Fame on Granville Street in Vancouver. Ironically, that is the same area the dulcimerist and former member of ’70s folk group Pied Pumkin used to busk on 50 years ago. The hall of fame says honour is for a significant contribution to the province’s entertainment industry and cultural landscape and aims to acknowledge these individuals to ensure their work is long recognized for its importance and value.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO — “You won’t see your furniture until the parties stop. You are too loud. If you are quiet you’ll get your crap back, The Neighbourhood.” That’s the message left by someone who 'removed' patio furniture overnight on June 3 from a home in the 400 block Bruce Avenue. RCMP said it sounds like some old-fashioned neighbourhood justice. “Either way, it’s theft and the owners would like to have their furniture returned.”

SWEET MUSIC – Congratulations to the Wellington Secondary School students who came home with a big haul of medals and individual honours from the MusicFest Canada national jazz band festival in Ottawa last month. Wellington band director Carmella Luvisotto said students have been working hard before school, after school, weekends, and all the time they put in has really paid off for them. The 25 students were Nanaimo’s only representation at the event, having qualified at the West Coast Jazz Festival at VIU at the end of April 30. MORE

EDUCATION FUNDING – Education Minister Rob Fleming came bearing gifts when he visited Nanaimo District Secondary School on Friday. School District 68 will get $20,500 to renew its agreement with Stz’uminus First Nation and update the current pact with Snuneymuxw First Nation. In all, the province is earmarking $3 million around the province for school districts and the Indigenous communities to create goals and expectations for the learning provided. Ted Cadwallader, director of instruction for Indigenous learning with Nanaimo Ladysmith School District, said the agreement will help keep a focus on the nearly 300 Indigenous students among the nearly 14,000 SD68 student body.

June 7, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO — If you’re looking for something spectacular to do this weekend, The sixth annual Altrusa Garden Tour is on Sunday. It’s a self-guided tour of seven gardens in the area, a fundraiser for Altrusa International of Nanaimo to go toward the non-profit club’s initiatives around supporting women, children and literacy. Participants can visit the gardens at their leisure, with refreshments to be served at each site. The tour is from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tickets are $20 at Green Thumb Garden Centre, Little Tree Garden Centre, Turley’s Florist and K.C.’s Boutique. Call 250-753-4081 or e-mail4donnayoung@gmail.com for more information. Please leave your dogs at home.

GARBAGE NEWS – Full garbage pickup has resumed and crews are working hard to get caught up after two city garbage trucks had mechanical problems. Numerous routes were impacted but service should soon return to normal. 

HERE WE GO AGAIN– I could write a standing story here with blanks to fill in the spaces for a new venture and a space to name those who oppose it. The latest is an application for the expansion of the Beachcomber Marina in Nanoose Bay. The owner wants to extend the existing  breakwater and add more dock space. But here come the Negative Nellies claiming environmental and ecological calamity if the project goes ahead.

AND AGAIN- Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley got an earful Thursday about old-growth logging. A couple of dozen people outside Routley's constituency office demanded an end to old-growth logging and further action on the environment. They want the province to immediately implement a moratorium, adding the problem is exacerbated by governments that don’t do enough while those nasty corporations continue to destroy the earth. 

June 6, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Kalea Mullett is a lady with a mission – to complete Terry Fox’s unfinished run across Canada. She plans to do the entire run, from Pacific to Atlantic Ocean. Kalea completed the first phase of the Trans Canada Trail running from Victoria to Nanaimo in eight days. She’s taking on the big challenge to raise awareness about cystic fibrosis in memory of her sister who died from the disease at the age of 16. Spencer Sterritt ofNanaimoNewsNOW has a great story on Kalea and her big challenge which she expects to complete in about seven years.

STAYING POSITIVE - Campbell River is not letting chinook salmon catch restrictions put a damper on its reputation as the Salmon Capital of the World, say Murray Whelan, president of Tyee Marine and Fishing Supplies. In April, the department of Fisheries and Oceans imposed a recreational catch-and-release fishery until mid-July to allow maximum numbers of chinook salmon to reach their spawning grounds, followed by catch retention limits of up to two chinook depending on the fishing area and time of year. Catch and release doesn’t stop people from getting out on the water and hooking a salmon, he says. “You can still go out and fish. We’re trying to emphasize the positive side.” B.C.’s sport fishery generates more than $1 billion annually in revenue and employs 9,000 people, says Owen Bird, executive director of the Sport Fishing Institute of B.C.

June 5

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO— It wouldn’t be Nanaimo if there wasn’t a protest over some proposal, no matter what. Some Westwood Lake area residents don’t want a bunch of old pharts planting roots in their community. White Lion Developments has proposed two three-storey 55-plus condo buildings, resulting in 57 two-bedroom units on Arbot Road. White Lion has applied to rezone the property and has held an open house. A group of nearby residents opposes the project. Experienced protester Sharon Kofoed has been named as the voice for the group.

VANCOUVER ISLAND MILITARY MUSEUM  has an excellent story about a ship that used to ply our waters and the role it played in the D-Day invasion by transporting Vancouver Island’s infantry regiment to Normandy. The SS Prince Henry started in 1930 with the Canadian National Steamship Lines as a mid-size luxury liner. But hard times in the cruise industry of those days saw the ship sold and renamed. Almost 6,000 visitors toured the museum last year. Greg Devenish, Vancouver Island Military Museum librarian, wrote an article about the SS Prince Henry. Find the VIMM newsletter HERE. 

KEEP IN TOUCH with the Vanisle 360 Yacht race around Vancouver Island. There is a variety of yachts from Canada and the U.S. on the daily progess list.  

June 4, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO— A scholarship remembering Jack Doan has been established for welding students at Vancouver Island University. Doan was remembered by friends as a dedicated educator who always kept students’ interests first. Jack started as a welding instructor in 1973 at the BC Vocational School, which was melding with the newly-formed Malaspina College at the time. He worked as a welding instructor until 1982, when he became Assistant Dean of Vocational Programs. In 1986, Jack became Dean of Vocational Programs. He was also an active member of the BC Vocational Deans Organization, which promoted trades and vocational programs throughout the province. He retired as Dean of Trades in 1999. Jack also served the community in many roles, including the Nanaimo School Board, the Nanaimo Port Authority and as a volunteer with the BC Summer Games and BC Liberal Party. In lieu of flowers, the family invites anyone to make a secure donation to the Jack Doan Welding Scholarship at https://giving.viu.ca/jack-doan

TWO MEN AND THEIR FISHING RODS are heading to the big time, they have snagged a national television agreement for their show. Wild Pursuit Network will begin airing the popular local series beginning Canada Day across the country on the Canadian specialty channel. Co-producers and stars of the show, Nathan Thomas and Tyler Kyle, hoped to expose their work on the national stage after the program’s debut on Shaw TV in Nanaimo in 2011. Now they've got it into their eighth season. There's MORE

June 3, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Daily Buzz has learned that Doug White has been named provincial representative on the Namaimo Port Authority. He replaces former chairman Jeet Manhas. It is not known if White has resigned as a councillor from the Snuneymuxw board.

TAKE A LOOK at our Spotlight section for a great local-boy-makes-good story – very good in fact. Kelley Bennett is one of the top marketing executives in the world. 

AS LONG AS ELVIS LIVES – through impersonators – there will be a need for Elvis costumes. A Nanaimo home business is arguably the king of producing Elvis Presley costumes. Elle von Boetticher owns Elvis Pro Jumpsuits and she sells approximately 400 custom replicated outfits annually for customers in 50 countries. It started in 1999 when the film and theatre costumer in Calgary got request to outfit an Elvis tribute artist. “It just kept growing from there,” she says. A defining moment in her career was a successful Dragons’ Den appearance to secure more supplies and allow costumes to be constructed more efficiently. Ian Holmes of NanaimoNewsNOW has the full story.

JOHN KENCHENTEN who for many years was a photographer and videographer of note from Gabriola Island died on May 19. John moved from England to Canada in the 1970s, where he applied his talents in film and photography. He was able to maintain a full and active life documenting and creating visual story telling from behind the lens. Friends and family will celebrate his life June 8, at 1 p.m. at 6010 River Road, Port Alberni.

Weekend edition, June 1-2, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Air Canada has moved back the starting date for its seasonal Nanaimo-Toronto direct flights to July 1 instead of June 20. Air Canada Rouge will operate the route using an Airbus A319 as originally planned. Customers who booked flights prior to July 1 will be contacted for alternate travel arrangements or a refund. She said the delay is due to ongoing fleet adjustments following the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft. MORE HERE

STAY OFF THE SAND - If you want to party on the beach, better stay away from Lantzville. District council has approved a fire bylaw that bans open air fires on all beaches within its borders, effective immediately. Violation carries a fine ranging from $500 to $10,000. The bylaw bans open-air beach fires but allows propane-fuelled campfire apparatus between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

 A LIBRARY WITH FEWER BOOKS – Vancouver Island University is reducing its its physical collection, including books, to make more room for study and student collaboration space. Librarian Ben Hyman said input from library staff, faculty and 1,000 VIU students in a survey reinforced the need to more aggressively reduce their physical collection. About 12 to 15 per cent is the target to accommodate the really important space that students have identified as a priority. Some books increasingly lack relevance as time passes and haven’t been borrowed in years, said Hyman.