Saturday, Sept 21

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The 24 tour riders in the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock started their long journey today with a drive to Port Alice. The riders, mostly members of the RCMP, begin a 1,100-kilometre bike ride across Vancouver Island Sunday as part of the ride that raises money for the Canadian Cancer Society.

They will travel through and stop in Port Hardy, Woss, Sayward, Campbell River, the Comox Valley, Qualicum Beach, Parksville, Port Alberni and Ucluelet. On Sept. 29, after a brief stop in Tofino, the riders reach Nanaimo, where they will remain until Sept. 30. The tour ends on Oct. 4 in Victoria. Among the 24 riders participating in this year’s Tour de Rock are RCMP members Cydney MacNeill and Simon Douthwaite of Nanaimo.

Fundraisers and events are scheduled in Nanaimo while the riders are in town. The Tour de Rock Station Stop fundraiser event, with music, First Nations dancing and family activities, goes Sept. 29 and there is a town gala featuring a buffet dinner, a rail pump car race to Ladysmith and a whole lot more. FULL DETAILS.

NANAIMO COMPETITORS have always shone at the 55-Plus B.C. Games and this year was no exception. Dozens of competitors from Nanaimo, Lantzville, Nanoose Bay and Gabriola Island competed at the games earlier this month in Kelowna. Nearly 4,200 athletes participated and close to 1,600 volunteers helped put on the event. Here’s a roundup of all the medals earned at the Games. MORE

Friday, Sept. 20

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island launched its fall fundraising campaign on Wednesdaywith the aim of making local social issues “unignorable.” – this year’s hashtag theme. Executive Director Signy Madden said the term came about in discussions with United Ways across Canada. Good news stories and results of people’s donations are often the focus, but there are issues like the opioid crisis that communities are facing. The Central Island campaign funds dozens and dozens of programs, helping 52,000 people, but people don’t realize that actually the most vulnerable are employed people using alone. That’s why the campaign focusses the opioid issue, to highlight that your friend, your neighbour, somebody in your family may have an addiction issue and they’re at risk, said Madden.

VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIVERSITY’S Trades Discovery Centre, now bears the name of Windsor Plywood. The Windsor Plywood Foundation supports students to get the high-quality education experiences needed. The centre, which opened in 2018, includes the carpentry shop, instructor offices, classrooms, the student commons and a lab area for industry, students and faculty to collaborate on innovative research projects. The new building is not only expanding the footprint of two high-demand trades programs –Carpentry and Motorcycle and Marine Technician – but it is also giving students increased access to a better learning environment.The Windsor Plywood Foundation made a gift to help complete the Trades Discovery Centre and outfit it with the equipment and technology needed to support high-quality programs. In recognition of this support. MORE

NANAIMO’S CITY STAFF collected their fifth Spirit of Innovation Award from the Municipal Information Systems Association of BC at the recent Municipal Showcase in Whistler. The award is given annually to the team that presents the most beneficial, innovative, and valuable technology that ultimately has a positive benefit to the community. CityProjects is a project management software system designed in-house, and will help teams at the City manage City-funded projects. The software allows staff in Finance, Engineering and other departments to plan, resource, track and report on projects ranging from pedestrian flasher upgrades and facilities improvements, to million-dollar projects like the Bastion Bridge upgrade.

THE CIRCUS is in town with old-fashioned family fun under the big top as Circo Osorio returns to Nanaimo now until Monday. The circus tent has been set up at the Woodgrove Centre parking lot near Hudson’s Bay. The group features performers from Russia, Belarus, Romania, Argentina, Mexico, Chile and the United States, and is offering up aerial acrobatics, magic and illusion, juggling, fun with bicycles, rope tricks, and more. New for 2019, Circo Osorio has partnered with the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation, which will be the fundraising recipients.

LUNCH IS ABOUT more than food for the body, it can also include food for the mind. Vancouver Island University’s Bring Your Lunch and Learn Series starts next Tuesday. The series aims to share knowledge, open discussions and an environment where people can present and discuss ideas and insights. The sessions are open to the public and everyone is invited to bring lunch, listen to the presentations and participate in a 30-minute discussion. The series kicks off with a panel discussion, as part of VIU Sustainability Week, on Tuesday, titled Sustainability is What We Do: Integrating Sustainability into Teaching, with Don Alexander, Mary Anne Moloney, Marti Harder, Matt Bowes, Wendy Simms, Sandra Johnstone and Lindsay McCunn. MORE

 

Sept/ 18-19

MEMO TO ALL CANDIDATES – Worry about your own platform instead of hammering other candidates’ platforms. The voters will figure it out all by themselves. When candidates focus on their opponents that probably indicates they don't have enough positives to offer themselves. Tell me what you are going to do right, not what your opponent will do wrong. There’s enough negativity around.

ON THAT NOTE – Things are going to get better climate-wise. Environment Canada forecasters are expecting a change in the fall weather to a milder, drier fall on the West Coast. El Niño and La Niña are making way for a more neutral weather pattern over the next few months. “With that comes less of an impact on our coast than if we were going into continued El Niño as we had last winter, or La Niña as we had the two previous winters,” says Meteorologist Armel Castellan.

SATURDAY FIXUP - Volunteers and geocachers from around Vancouver Island will plant trees, install fences and restore part of the river near Biggs Road. It’s part of an event known in the geocaching world as Cache In Trash Out or CITO, an environmental initiative to preserve and clean up natural areas the geocachers enjoy.  Bernie Heinrichs, event organizer, geocacher and volunteer stream keeper, said he selected the riverbank because he took part in a restoration project there a few years ago.

Tuesday, Sept. 17

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Guess who the biggest culprits are when it comes to speeding in school zones.Sadly it looks like parents have the heavy foot on the gas pedal. Cst. Gary O’Brien reports of the 22 fines issued so far this month  parents topped the list. He said some parents forget to slow down immediately after transporting their kids to school.

SOMETHING FISHY - Hey, if you’ve got nothing to do for the rest of this week, how about joining a bunch of volunteers to clip the adipose fins from 85,000 coho at the Nanaimo River Hatchery? Volunteers are needed from Wednesday to Friday this week. VIU students have already signed up for Wednesday afternoon, but you can slot in Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, and Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you’re up to the challenge, contact bbanks@nanaimoriverhatchery.ca. Please sign up so they don’t get over-booked. They’ve been doing this for a few years so there’s hope that the river will be open for retention of clipped coho by November.

FIVE MILLION REASONS - Jesse Logan and Teresa Winters Day bought a winning Lotto 6/49 at a Nanaimo 7-Eleven and now they’re now $5 million richer. And that means a trip to Disneyland and a new recording studio in the near future. “I’ll be able to spoil my kids,” Winters Day said, “I’ve always wanted to go to Disneyland…that’s the first thing I’ll do with my kids.” Sure, why not?

Monday, Sept. 16

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Rain failed to dampen the enthusiasm as about 200 people participated in the 39th annual Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research, Sunday at Bowen Park. The local run has raised more than $351,600 over its history. We all remember that after 143 days and 5,373 kilometers, Terry Fox stopped running outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario as his cancer spread to his lungs, making it impossible for him to continue.

THE MID ISLAND LEGO Users Group is holding a Mid Island Brick Fest Sept 28 at Country Club Centre. The group is from Nanaimo, with members from Duncan to Campbell River. It is a community of adult LEGO® fans with a variety of building interests and skill levels throughout the mid island. They have monthly meetings to share ideas, discuss products, community events, and share and build. The fest is from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

SOMETHING DIFFERENT – A voice and piano concert in a private home. Cheryl Yan will host the performance at her home in Parkwood subdivision on Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Featured artists are Paula Barry and Lisa Rumpel of Winnipeg who have performed in national and international stages. Tickets are $20, available through Eventbrite.

Sunday, Sept. 15

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The Canadian Museum of History’s Hockey travelling exhibit is on display at Nanaimo Museum until Nov. 24, featuring images and local artifacts from Canada’s favourite passtime that show its influence on Canadiana. A unique local artifacts is a jersey from the Nanaimo Islanders, a very short-lived WHL team in Nanaimo in 1982-1983 season. Information about Paul Henderson’s clinching goal in the Summit Serries and Roch Carrier’s children’s book The Hockey Sweater are on display along with lesser items of hockey lore.

AN EPIC in the making, perhaps even an annual challenge. Nanaimo fire fighters and Tour de Rock riders are gearing up for a promotional Cops for Cancer race later this month. The Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, raises money for the battle against childhood cancer. The Cops will make their annual Vancouver Island race from Sept. 21 to Oct. 4. The Island Corridor Foundation, which owns the E&N rail corridor, will hold a fundraising event on Sept. 29 and then on Sept. 30, Nanaimo firefighters will race Tour de Rock racers to Ladysmith on an old-style train pump car. The pump car race will take place Sept. 30 as part of the day’s journey for riders as they head to Ladysmith and then Chemainus. The ICF event on Sept. 29 is from noon to 5 p.m. and will be fun for the whole family.

Friday, Sept 13

The winners - Cpl Rennard Jo and Cst Tanaska Armstrong, flank Cst Cydney MacNeill

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – There was a hot time in the old cop shop the other day for the first-ever detachment Chili Cook Off. With names ranging from Chili Con Crystal, I Mustache You Try my Chili and Debbie's Not Deboring, the event was a success and a big hit with detachment employees. When it was all said and done, almost $400 was raised for the 2019 Tour de Rock.  The official winners were Cpl Rennard Jo and Cst Tanaska Armstrong, but in the end, all were winners

URBAN AGRICULTURE got a shot in the arm  in south Nanaimo after the last remaining urban farm was bought and protected from development. The City announced Thursday it bought the Five Acres Farm on Park Avenue for $1.375 million. The land is used by Nanaimo Foodshare to grow crops for their Good Food Box program, which feeds hundreds of people every month. Crops are also sold at market and the land is used for a variety of programs with community sponsors. MORE

 

Thurs, Sept. 12

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Our good friend Dr. San Mahara and Daybreak Rotary Club are holding their annual Walk for Nepal on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 9:30 a.m. The Westwood lake walk raises money to support post-earthquake Nepal in its efforts to rebuild it's already frail infrastructure like schools, health-post and drinking water supply. Dr. Mahara was in his native Kathmandu, Nepal April 25, 2015 when the 7.8-magnitude earthquake caused widespread destruction and killed 9,000 people. One million kids who were out of school so he set out to raise money and within three years of the quake he had raised $60,000 U.S. selling t-shirts and organizing hikes up Mount Benson and walks around Westwood Lake.

BLOWING SMOKE - The first cannabis retail store in Nanaimo could open by the end of October. Mood Cannabis Company is planning to build two cannabis stores, one at 3923 Victoria Ave., near Country Club Centre, and the other at 6404 Metral Dr., next to the Best Western Northgate Inn.

THE BIG ONE - Who says there ain’t no big fish out there? Bill Constable of Maple Ridge says otherwise. While fishing near Port Hardy with Dave Summers Jr. of Serengeti Fishing Charters, he hooked a 62.5 lb. Chinook and with the help of Dave and friend Ken Arnold they kept the fish in the water and cradled it while measuring and photographing and then carefully putting it back in the water, to find another fisherman to thrill. The total process from net to release was all of 80 seconds. The best feeling of catching this 62.5 pounder was the safe release, Constable said.

Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO– Nanaimo firefighters want to fill their boots this weekend.  The Nanaimo Professional Firefighters IAFF 905 Charitable Society is holding its annual Boot Drive on Friday and Saturday to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy Canada. Local firefighters have a tradition of supporting the cause. They’ll be at four supermarkets from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. both days  –  Save-On-Foods locations at Woodgrove and Country Club and the Country Grocer locations at Bowen Road and at Chase River.

CULTURE AND HERITAGE – The City invites applications from community non-profit culture and heritage organizations seeking financial assistance for their 2020 operations, projects, or events.  Funds are available under two grants: 2020 Culture and Heritage operating grants and project grants. The deadline for submission is October 15 at 4 p.m. Guidelines, criteria and application forms are available online. View the operating grant guidelines, criteria and application form online at https://cnan.ca/2eZv1FV and Project Grant at https://cnan.ca/2eZnxCM

Tuesday, Sept. 10

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – There’s no doubt about how British Columbians feel about seasonal time changes – they want them gone. A survey by the provincial government showed 93% of us want to remain on Daylight time year round, and Premier John Horgan is taking the steps to make that happen. First he’ll talk to Yukon. He has already talked to California, Oregon and Washington State, and the reply appears positive. We can change our preference by provincial regulation but the U.S. states need Congressional approval from Washington, DC. Will it happen this fall, before the scheduled set back remains to be seen. The wheels of government churn slowly. 

SPEAKER SERIES - I mentioned this before, so here’s a reminder of the Engaged Citizens Speakers Seriesfeaturing Dr. Philip Oxhorn, Dean of International Education at Vancouver Island University. The topic is Understanding Democracy Today: The Challenge of Citizenship.He says democracy is what we make of it collectively, what democracy provides is the opportunity to define it in the ways we appreciate. It’s tomorrow (Wednesday, Sept. 11) at 7 p.m.;Malaspina Theatre, Building 310 at the Nanaimo campus. After his talk he will lead a discussion with the audience. Register for your free ticket through Eventbrite.

 

Monday, Sept 9, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – It's kind of a slow news day. We used to gripe when all gas stations coincidentally all had the same price for gasoline. Now that there is a range in prices, no matter how small, we have to check around before filling up. Regular gasoline appears to range about one cent per litre in Nanaimo, but if you use diesel you can save 10 cents per litre, or more, by checking gasoline prices on Gas Buddy.  That’s about six bucks for a tank full, definitely worth the effort.

NOW THEY FIND OUT – The introduction of e-cigarettes was supposed to be the healthy replacement for tobacco, but there have been a number of deaths reported in the U.S. linked to vaping. Island Health Medical Health Officer Dr. Paul Hasselback has issued a warning to local school officials about the dangers of vaping. A 2016-17 Canadian survey found that 23 per cent of respondents had tried an e-cigarette, and the U.S. Center for Tobacco Products suggested a 78-per cent increase in e-cigarette usage among high school students between 2017 and 2018. MORE

CAN YA BEAT THAT? - The latest on the technology front is an electronic walking stick for blind people. As a means of protecting people from low-hanging objects and obstacles above chest level, the WeWalk smart cane uses sensors to warn the user of nearby hindrances through vibrations in the handle.The cane can be paired with a smartphone’s Bluetooth system for easy control. Since it is also integrated with Voice Assistant and Google Maps software, it can use built-in speakers to inform the user of nearby stores and infrastructural details that they can not see. Read the WHOLE STORY.

 

Sunday, Sept 8, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Hey, we’re a winner. Nanaimo has been recongized as a B.C. Climate Action Community by the joint provincial-UBCM Green Communities Committee. The recognition brings the city to Level 3 in the climate action recognition program. There are four levels in the program – Level 4 is complete carbon neutrality. The city reduced its emissions by converting streetlights to LEDs and replacing a boiler in Beban Park pool with two high-efficiency condensing boilers, and generating 802 megawatt hours of energy at a reservoir facility.

MICHAEL BANNING has a birthday coming up, and he's not looking for any presents, only donations to Refugee Rescue/'Mo Chara'. Michael is a member of the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue unit 27 in Nanaimo and he and other Nanaimo members have made numerous trips to rescue refugees. Refugee Rescue is a skilled search and rescue and humanitarian NGO founded in 2015. The volunteer boat and land crew as well as rescue vessel ‘Mo Chara’ (‘My Friend’ in Irish) are based in Lesvos, Greece, where they have helped thousands of refugees fleeing violence, war and persecution. Kicking in a few bucks is a way to help others from the comfort of your own home. Michael is trying to raise one thousand bucks, so whatever you add will bring him closer to the target. Here’s more information about Refugee Rescue/ Mo Chara' and how you can CONTRIBUTE

 HOW AND WHY citizenship is critical to democracy and civil society will be explored Dr. Philip Oxhorn, Dean of International Education at Vancouver Island University, in the inaugural Engaged Citizens Speaker Series talk on Wednesday, Sept. 11. Get your free tickets and MORE INFORMATION here.

Saturday, Sept. 7

GOOD MORNING - In case you missed it, Lantzville's Minetown Day is today and free transit is available. The 11 Lantzville and SPECIAL BUS – Please note that regular #11-Lantzville bus will service Superior Road to Lantzville Road only as per regular schedule. Special bus will service regular routing as well as west end of Lantzville Road across from Snaw-Naw-As Road. Regular routing to Superior Road, left on Hwy.19 (north), right on Lantzville Rd, left on Dickinson to regular routing to Woodgrove.

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE the loss of common sense. Tomorrow will be a sad day for Jodie Lucas and Will Gemmell when they close down their Rusted Rake Farm eatery at the end of the business day because it didn't qualify under the letter of the law of the Agricultural Land Commission. They were informed on Aug. 5 their application for non-farm use in the ALR to permit a restaurant and brewery was denied. That translates into 15 lost jobs. The 7.2-hectare property is located on 3106 Northwest Bay Rd. It has a restaurant but the owners also have other agricultural applications on the property as they raise barley and wheat, beef, mixed vegetables and fruits. MORE

 

Friday, Sept. 6, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – There should be a couple of big conflagrations on a bunch of birthday cakes tonight. September 6 marks another trip around the sun for Jamie Penner, Wayne Bianchin and Jim Miller. Carolyn Scott’s birthday was earlier this week, but she throws herself a surprise party each year, and that’s tonight at her house.

LOW-LIFE THIEVES – Two high-end bicycles were stolen from the parking lot at 2560 Departure Bay Road on Monday. They were specialized bikes – one valued at $4,000. The first one is a black Scott carbon fibre road bike. No serial number available. The other one is a maroon Dolce road bike, serial # M9BK07949. If you know anything about this crime, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 so they can get these hoodlums. If you want to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477. Nanaimo RCMP file # 2019-33959

Thursday, Sept. 5

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Eden Gardens is Vancouver Island’s second satellite training centre for health and safety training in the industry. Non-profit SafeCare B.C. announced Wednesday that Eden Gardens' participation will increase access and expand the capacity for health and safety training for continuing care workers on the mid Island. SafeCare B.C. has its training centre in Burnaby, with additonal satellite locations in Parksville and Abbotsford. MORE

REEL IN THESE CROOKS - One or more thieves stole $7,500 worth of fishing gear and other equipment from a boat at Stone's Marina on Stewart Avenue over night Aug. 28. Two down riggers, an outboard trolling motor, fishing rods, life jackets, a BBQ and cooler were taken. If you know anything about this crime, call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477. Nanaimo file # 2019- 34301

Wednesday, Sept. 4

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO —  The Nanaimo International Jazz Festival is back for its third year Sept. 20 to 22 in downtown Nanaimo. There will be three days of concerts, a downtown parade, and ten of the 14 events are free. Saxophonist Ernie Watts, a two-time Grammy Award winner who toured with the Rolling Stones and played in the Tonight Show Band, is this year’s headliner. He will also lead a workshop for jazz students. Vancouver-raised vocalist Laila Biali will close out the festival. Laila is the 2019 Juno Award winner for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year, beating out our own Diana Krall for the award

GETTING TO CLASSES – We regularly see school buses and assume that’s how all kids get to school, but that’s not the case for rural students on the B.C. coast. About 500 students take the ferry before getting on the buses. About 80 to 100 high school students from Gabriola Island use this mode to get to Nanaimo every day. For many that means getting up before the crack of dawn at 6 a.m. and not getting home until after dark at 5 p.m.

SIZE MATTERS – It’s not how many fish you catch, but how big they are. Jim Boorman of Qualicum Beach is this year’s winner of the Port Alberni Salmon Derby, boating a 32.4 pound Chinook on a pink hootchie. He caught the winner on the first day. Just as well, he and his partner hauled in only two fish all weekend. That netted him the top prize of $15 grand – $462.96 a pound, almost as much as you’d pay in a grocery store these days.

 

Tuesday, Sept. 3

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Hey, do you fancy yourself as an artist? The City invites proposals for temporary outdoor art for public places, beginning in next year. Artists are invited to submit their proposals through "Call for artists for temporary outdoor art No. 2474" on the City's website at www.nanaimo.ca/bid-opportunities. The deadline is 3:00 pm, Oct. 21, 2019. The cioty has been involved in a public art program that enhances and animates our City’s parks since 2010.  Each year, outdoor artwork is installed in public places on a temporary basis for the enjoyment of residents and visitors. The parks become outdoor art galleries and showcase artworks for a limited period of time. Mayor Leonard Krog says "Public art not only has the ability to enrich our community and its environment, but also to ignite imagination, encourage thought and promote discussion in those who view it."

MARCH FOR MYELOMA - A march along the seawall on Monday raised awareness about a serious cancer which is treatable but incurable. At the same time, more than $28,000 was raised for the cause. Multiple Myeloma is a cancer of the blood which compromises the immune system and leads to serious late-in-life complications. 

 

Monday, Sept 2

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO — It’s a great labour day morning, time to reflect and recognize those who have built our country, province and communityThe Nanaimo Duncan and District Labour Council is holding a get-together today, (Sept. 2), 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. at Transfer Beach in Ladysmith.

IF YOU SPEND any time watching YouTube videos you will likely have seen people plunking away at pianos in public places. You can take your turn now at the Wild Woman Medicine Show on Commercial Street on what may be the oldest piano in Nanaimo. It was the parlour piano of the original Wellington Hotel during the late 1890s. Barbara Lynne Norman who works at the Wild Woman Medicine Show, brought the piano to the store after buying it and moves it in and out  every day for people to play. She wants to bring life and energy to downtown through music and she's sure doing that. MORE

 JOE THOONG of Vancouver Island University is one of the best in the world at his craft. He placed fifth in the graphic design category at WorldSkills in, Russia. The global competition pits people in a wide range of disciplines, including carpentry, cyber security and baking. Joe’s 735 of a possible 800 kept him well ahead of expectation. His projects included a corporate identity for a Russian company, packaging for a Mongolian health product, a logo and car wrap for a fruit company in Dubai and web graphics for International Women’s Day. Joe is from Courtenay, but studies graphic design at VIU’s Nanaimo campus. 

VIEX TURNSTILES WERE BUSY -  The Vancouver Island Exhibition last weekend attracted the most people in a decade for the 125th annual VIEX. The exact number is unknown, however, VIEX President Lynn Haley estimated it was close to 30,000. She said attendance jumped because of organizers paying more attention to feedback from the community on what they wanted to see.

 

Sunday, Sept. 1

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO — Hundreds of kids are getting off to a great Fresh Start for the new school year, thanks to organizer Dave Lawrence. The Fresh Start campaign saw the most supplies ever donated to the annual community helping families with what they need for the first day back to school. Dozens of families lined the block outside That 50s Barbershop on Victoria Crescent on Saturday when the barbershop opened. The line remained long throughout the morning. Kids read to three barbers in exchange for haircuts after which they picked up free school supplies, backpacks and clothing. 

STUCK IN THE PAST – As the new school year kicks off, the B.C. government vaccination status reporting regulation goes into effect requiring parents to report the vaccination status of all school-age children. Mandatory reporting not only provides information for health authorities, but also prompts parents to check that their children are up to date with immunization and allows health officials to talk to families about the importance of immunization to the health and well-being of their children and the community as a whole. Despite all the evidence, some parents are still resisting and demonstrated their opposition on Saturday at Maffeo Sutton Park. MORE