Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – It’s been quite a ride for Nanaimo’s Lauren Spencer-Smith. She has been nominated for a Juno Award and she’s headed to American Idol. She’s in good company for the Juno with fellow British Columbian Bryan Adams, who also has a Nanaimo connection. The two along with three other Canadian artists are up for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year at the Juno Awards March 15. DETAILS

HELLO FROM NANAIMO – Our member of Parliament Paul Manly is casting a wide net these days. He was scheduled visit the Kahnawake Mohawk territory and attend the blockade in Tyendinaga yesterday. Last month, Paul was in Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C. to meet with the hereditary chiefs.    

EXTRA REVENUE SOURCES – The City is casting a longing eye at the lure of sponsorship money for city facilities. The Finance committee wants a sponsorship policy created at a furture council meeting. It’s an issue that keeps reappearing like a bad penny. Though not fleshed out yet, such a policy could end up in corporate names on city-owned buildings. In other communities there are places like Rogers Arena, The Pepsi Centre and so on. DETAILS

SPEAKING OF MONEY, the city’s finance committee wants city council to develop the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s the next phase of its development plan and come up with funding options. The existing co-management agreement for 150 Commercial St. expires in 2024. In the meantime the art wants an extra $50,000 a year until 2023-24.  The facility houses the Art Gallery, Crimson Coast Dance, Nanaimo Archives, TheatreOne and Vancouver Island Symphony. Hmmm, a sponsorship opportunity? DETAILS

HOUSING OPTIONS – Lantzville council has approved a zoning change to allow secondary suites and carriage homes throughout the district. Secondary suites not permitted in  the District. A staff report states there are existing secondary suites and carriage homes in the community which may not meet the building code. DETAILS

WHAT’S UP - If you have an event or activity you want to tell the community about, send the information to Buzz@nanaimonet.com.

UPDATE: McGirr and Dover schools hold and secure lifted

UPDATE – A north Nanaimo high school was placed on lockdown earlier today, police didn’t find a credible threat within the school, say RCMP.

A Hold and Secure has been put in place at Dover Bay High School and students in the school due to an unspecified threat. Given the close proximity of McGirr Elementary  has also been placed on Hold and Secure. MORE

Friday, Feb. 21, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The Snuneymuxw First Nation flag is back at city hall after a placement ceremony. Returning the flag to its permanent position recognizes the important relationship between the City and the Snuneymuxw First Nation. Mayor Krog and Chief Wyse both delivered speeches highlighting the efforts being made toward a more positive relationship and how they plan to continue moving forward with respect and open communication.

Supt. Cameron Miller presents the recognition.

CONST. KELLY BOUDREAU was trying to apprehend a distraught man acting erratically on Jan. 25. It quickly became apparent that the man appeared to be having a mental health crisis. He became combative and a violent struggle ensued. That’s when a local man driving by a saw the officer attempting to take control of the much larger man. He stopped his vehicle and helped the officer. They were able to restrain the man until additional officers arrived. Supt. Cameron Miller, Officer in Charge Nanaimo RCMP detachment, and Insp. Lisa Fletcher, Operations Support Officer, presented the man with the Officer in Charge Letter of Appreciation. He agreed to appear in a photo but asked that his name not be released. He was also presented with a Challenge Coin, which has been given to every employee of the Nanaimo RCMP for their service and dedication to the detachment. While we do not expect civilians to respond in the manner that he did, we are though, most grateful and appreciate when they do, said Supt. Miller.

BC FERRIES has been named one of B.C.’s Top Employers for the fourth consecutive year. The award recognizes companies that offer exceptional workplaces for their employees by providing forward-thinking and progressive programs. BC Ferries works to create a positive environment for its employees who are focused on delivering great service to customers every day. Many BC Ferries employees have worked their way up through the company, starting in entry level positions and taking on new opportunities. The varied departments, team atmosphere and some of the most beautiful views in the province start many people on a marine career path. 

WHAT’S HAPPENING? – If you have an event or activity you want to tell the community about, send the information to Buzz@nanaimonet.com.

FOR SALE BY OWNER - $709,900 - 6217 Waterbury Road, north Nanaimo, situated in a well established, quiet neighborhood in North Nanaimo, this home is 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)

Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The frost is on the lawns, but we have an excellent news menu for you this morning. Volunteers are needed for a census of homeless people in Nanaimo on March 12. Nanaimo Homeless Coalition, John Howard Society, and United Way will count individuals staying in shelters, short-term housing and sleeping on the streets. The count gathers data about the needs and circumstances of those affected by homelessness and tracks important statistics, such as gender, age, ethnicity, and other factors. To participate, visit Volunteer Opportunities or contact the John Howard Society directly at 250-754-1266. Care-kits are distributed with important items that help those who are homeless. Donations are needed to create these kits, including winter clothing, rain gear, personal hygiene products, blankets, sleeping bags, flashlights and first aid items. Donation Itemsmay be dropped off at John Howard Society, 2353 Rosstown Road, on weekdays between 11am and 3 pm. 

SO YOU THINK YOU ARE A POET – If so, you can get your work recognized and at the same time support animals in need. The City’s Youth Poet Laureate, Valina Zanetti, and the Nanaimo BCSPCA invite local youth to help celebrate a milestone for the charity with a youth poetry contest. As BC’s oldest charity, the BCSPCA is marking 125 years of rescuing and protecting animals. Youth between the ages of between the ages of 11 and 18 are invited to submit their original poems on BCSPCA topics. Check here www.spca.bc.ca/adoption_stories
Get full contest guidelines online (https://www.nanaimo.ca/culture-environment/poetry/bcspca-poetry-contest---be-kind-to-all-kinds), or by emailing callingallpoets@nanaimo.ca.  The deadline for poem submission is Monday, March 30, 2020.

ON THE BUS - BC Transit President and CEO, Erinn Pinkerton address the February 26 Chamber of Commerce Networking Breakfast at the Coast Bastion. She will introduce new vision for the future of public transportation in British Columbia. BC Transit heard similar challenges across the province including creating better mobility options, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting a reduction in congestion. This presentation will talk about the benefits of embracing a customer centric model for public transportation for the Regional District of Nanaimo, and how the shift will help businesses, their employees, and their customers. It starts at 7:30 a.m.

NAME GAME - BC Ferries has named its first two Island Class Ferries – Island Discovery and Island Aurora are the newest vessels to enter the fleet and will enter service in mid-2020, serving the Powell River – Texada Island and Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula routes. Island Discovery will be deployed on the Powell River – Texada Island route. The Island Aurora will replace Quadra Queen II on the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula route. Quadra Queen II will become a relief vessel. 

HIGHWAY 4 DISRUPTIONS – If you’re planning a trip to the west coast of Vancouver Island, be aware that work continues on Highway 4 at Kennedy Hill and will be closed from 11 a.m. Saturday to Sunday. Crews will remove the temporary single-lane bridge and repair the slope that was damaged during blasting in January. This work is necessary for blasting to continue at this project site. The corridor will reopen to single-lane alternating traffic at about noon Sunday, allowing commercial vehicles, RVs and other larger vehicles to safely move through the corridor. Check DriveBC for the Kennedy Hill project, along with up-to-date information on road conditions.

WHAT’S HAPPENING? – If you have an event or activity you want to tell the community about, send the information to Buzz@nanaimonet.com.

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – People Magazine, with 46.6 million readers, has zeroed in on Vancouver Island since Prince Harry and his family made themselves right at home on the West Coast, settling into a $14 million mansion with baby Archie. It’s hard to quantify benefits that may accrue. People says our Island is the perfect respite for the pair. “Vancouver Island is home to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, as well as many of the provinces’ most popular cities, like Tofino, Nanaimo and Sooke. Hey, we made it, with no less than four mentions. So don’t be shocked if all of a sudden you see the Duke and Duchess strolling along our waterfront.

HE’S A MILLIONAIRE NOW – Nanaimo’s Curtis Wright is a $1 million winner after matching all 10 numbers in the Lotto 6/49 Feb. 15 draw. Wright bought the winning ticket at the Esso convenience store at Uplands Drive and Rutherford Road. He’s a regular lotto player, saying he tries his luck at least once a month, but was particularly motivated by the Feb. 15 Lotto 6/49 SuperDraw with its guaranteed prizes. He bought the ticket about 10 or 15 minutes before the draw/

DON’T MESS WITH GOVERNMENT - The director of Trees Cannabis marijuana dispensaries has been handed a $1.5-million fine after the dispensaries were shut down by the province. Near the end of January, Alex Robb, director and general manager of Trees Cannabis, was fined $1.5 million for the sale of illicit marijuana – marking the first known administrative penalty levied to an individual under the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act. The dispensary was in the process of obtaining a retail licence when the raids occurred and all cannabis products were seized.

AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCES – The Port of Nanaimo is expecting six cruise ships this year and is getting serious with making memorable visits for cruisers. The Port has with tour operators to create a dozen “export-ready” experiences for passengers as part of their effort to support local businesses. Port president and CEO Ian Marr says a large part of attracting cruise ships here includes local businesses showcasing opportunities for passengers to get off the ship and enjoy what we have here. These packages do that very well he adds.

LET US KNOW – If you have an event or activity you want to tell the community about, send the information to Buzz@nanaimonet.com.

 

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Pier 1 Imports filed for bankruptcy protection Monday after years of sliding sales. All Canadian stores will be closed but the company will attempt to find buyers for the U.S. stores, with a March 23 deadline. The Texas-based company has been struggling with increased competition from budget-friendly online. 

GET RID OF THAT OLD BIKE – Vibe Bikes of Nanaimo repairs used donated bikes and gives them to needy kids. If your family is in need of a child's or youth bicycles just check with them. They also accept adult sized bicycles but do sell them to fund their company if wish to recycle them as well. Vibe Bikes has been giving back to the community for 10 years giving thousands of bicycles to those who need them. Help them help the community. Go to their Website for details on how you can donate or receive a bike. HERE

LET US KNOW – If you have an event or activity you want to tell the community about, send the information to Buzz@nanaimonet.com.

Monday, Feb. 17, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Happy Family Day.

BIKES FOR KIDS has made a real difference in the lives of kids in Nanaimo. BFK has delivered nearly 650 bikes to children as it begins its fourth year. It has already delivered 30 bikes so far this year. Now co-creator Greg Nowik is looking to expand, saying there has been a huge buy-in from community organizations. The bikes donated to the program come from the Nanaimo RCMP unclaimed cycles. The bikes are fixed up by professionals at Coal City Cycles and delivered to children. MORE

REGISTRATION opens March 1 for the BC 55-plus in Richmond Sept. 15 to 19. The games individual and team sports, including 8-ball, archery, badminton, bocce, bridge, carpet bowling, cribbage, darts, dragon boat racing, five-pin bowling, floor curling, golf, hockey and horseshoes. There’s curling, karate, lawn bowling, pickleball, slo-pitch, snooker, soccer, swimming, table tennis, track and field, trapshooting and whist. MORE DETAILS

LET US KNOW – If you have an event or activity you want to tell the community about, send the information to Buzz@nanaimonet.com.

Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – BC Ferries didn’t take any chances, getting an injunction against protesters on the long weekend. Deborah Marshall of B.C. Ferries said Saturday that the company sought the injunction after being made aware of a demonstration planned at the Swartz Bay ferry terminal over the Family Day long weekend. This comes after protesters blocked the Swartz Bay ferry terminal on Jan. 20. Drivers weren’t allowed to pass from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and several sailings were cancelled.

WE HAVE TO WONDER HOW LONG it will be before Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs disassociate themselves from the anarchist protesters who are creating havoc to their cause. Most of the people we see at demonstrations now are not Wet’suwet’en members.

BACK TO WORK - Eighty-one per cent of the United Steel Workers Local 1-19137 members ratified the tentative agreement with Western Forest Products on Saturday, bringing an to end the nearly eight-month-long strike that devastated parts of Vancouver Island. The agreement includes a 12.5-per-cent wage increase, higher premiums for members first aid qualification, a safety boot allowance and changes to shift work.

Const. Samson Haire of the Victoria Police is one of the runners.

THE WOUNDED WARROR RUN will stop at the Lantzville Legion on Friday, February 28 from 11:30 – 1 pm.  This is the seventh annual run to raise public awareness and financial support for Wounded Warriors Canada. A team of runners will relay-run the length of Vancouver Island in eight consecutive days, starting Saturday, February 23 in Port Hardy and ending in Victoria, more than 600 kms. They would love to see everyone come out and support the team as they pass through Nanaimo.

THE REGIONAL DISTRICT is on its way to regulating homeless people camping overnight at designated parks. There is no prohibition of temporary shelters and sleeping in parks, though there are now court decisions being used as a guide. This will bring regulations in line with the City of Nanaimo and the District of North Cowichan. Staff has recommended limiting homeless camping to areas within parks, as well as preventing camping on designated conservation areas, facilities, trails, parking areas, playgrounds and neighbouring residential properties. MORE HERE

LET US KNOW – If you have an event or activity you want to tell the community about, send the information to Buzz@nanaimonet.com.

Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The nightmare appears to be behind us. Nanaimo went through a tough five-year period that damaged its reputation, management and unionized workforce. That’s the conclusion of an April 2019 organizational review and restructuring report obtained by the News Bulletin through a freedom of information request. The $70,000 report highlights concerns felt among city employees during a period of “instability, uncertainty and angst” between 2011-2018 and provides dozens of recommendations. The study was conducted by municipal government consultant George Cuff. Its findings were based on interviews with at least 50 city employees as well as observations by Cuff and his associates. In his state of the city address at year end, Mayor Leonard Krog pointed to the successful efforts for the present council to wipe the slate clean and repair Nanaimo's reputation. More HERE.

Tri Service cadet bottle drive with some of the collection and the volunteers who made it happen.

The Tri Services bottle drive raised $15,000 for cadet programs in Nanaimo

WHAT A TEAM EFFORT - The Tri Service (Air, Sea and Navy League and Army) Cadet fifth bottle drive raised just over $15,000 to support cadets. More than 250 people are involved in the annual fund raiser and they put in more than 1,800 hours. To get a perspective on the drive, 46,944 pop cans were collected along with 25,200 water bottles and 33,408 beer cans Cadets and their families also distributed flyers in advance. It was a great success financially and in inter-agency co-operation. Kudos to Sandy and Chris Jaeger and Cassandra, President of the Sea Cadet Parent Committee. Thanks to Grace Dean, chair of 205 Collishaw Squadron Sponsoring Committee for forwarding this information to The Daily Buzz.

YOU CAN TOO – If you have a happening you want to tell the community about, send the information to Buzz@nanaimonet.com.

BACK IN THE AIR – Air Canada will be back this summer with its daily direct flights to Toronto. The seasonal service is set to resume on June 26 and run through to Sept. 7. After that it will be four flights a week until Oct. 12. In 2019 flights ended in September and even earlier in 2018 when late season flights were cancelled due to lack of passengers.

CROFTON MILL SHUTDOWN - Production at the Crofton paper mill will be shut down for 30 days due to a shortage of fibre, says Paper Excellence Canada. Staff at the mill were told Friday morning the stoppage is expected to be around March 1. Stew Gibson, vice president of operations west, said numerous developments in both the BC coastal and interior forest regions have cut off long-term contractual supplies of wood.  About 450 Unifor and Pulp Paper and Woodworkers of Canada members will be affected. Meanwhile, United Steelworkers Union members voted Thursday and Friday on a tentative contract with union leaders recommending acceptance. They expect voting results as early as today.

SILVER ANNIVERSARY - The Vancouver Island Symphony is 25 years old. It’s last minute notice, but the symphony will celebrate with a concert at the Port Theatre tonight. The program will feature Sergei Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony, op. 25 and Joseph Haydn’s Symphony no. 25 in C major. Among the other compositions are Samuel Barber’s Canzonetta for Oboe and Strings and Bohuslav Martinu’s Oboe Concerto, the oboe being the instrument of conductor Pierre Simard and VIS CEO Margot Holmes. Principal oboist Geronimo Mendoza will be the evening’s guest soloist for the Barber and Martinu pieces. It’s his first time taking on that role and he’s looking forward to showing off the range of the instrument. It’s also his first time playing those pieces with an orchestra.

Feb 14, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Woodlands school may reopen. The school district is waiting for approval for Cilaire Elementary School seismic upgrades. During that work, Woodlands will temporarily house students. Work at Cilaire would include electrical upgrades and reinforcing load bearing walls, joists and frames to decrease the seismic risk, The business committee is recommending design and construction management contracts to Herold Engineering Ltd. and Bradley Shuya Architect Inc. for nearly $12 million for the schools if they get approval from the Education Ministry.

NANAIMO RCMP have recently seized six bikes and to date, investigators have been unable to locate the owners. Check HERE

DRUG LAB WAS BIG BUSINESS – A drug lab raided by RCMP in a north Nanaimo home was processing the dangerous drug GHB. The Federal Serious and Organized Crime division said the GHB lab on Hammond Bay Road was the target of a year-long investigation. The person behind it was believed to be selling everything from psychedelic mushrooms to GHB and fentanyl. MORE

STREET-LEGAL DRAG RACING is retunring to Port Alberni. The races were held at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport until 2015 when an expansion project there forced the event to move into the city on Stamp Avenue for three years. But when it wanted to move back to the airport last year, the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District pulled the plug at the last minute. So after a year hiatus, the races are back, but on the shorter Stamp Avenue track.

ARE YOU TOO BUSY to read all the news? Nanaimonet provides a menu of headlines so you can pick and choose what you want to read. For instance, Flair discount ariline is discontinuing service to Abbotsford due to competition from Swoop. Also, did you know Canadians drank so much beer during the 2010 Olympics that extra supplies have to be flown in from German? Or the student driver being charged with impaired driving during his driving lesson. HEADLINES

The Daily Buzz welcomes your news and events tips at Buzz@nanaimonet.com 

Senior moments

It's just that kind of day, this video says it all. Give it a listen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R07eZhdo8hQ

 

Thursday, Feb.13, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Did you miss Mayor Leonard Krog’s state of the city address at the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Wednesday? We have his original version from January right HERE

HAPPY CENTENNIAL – Rita Fraser celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday with a lunch at a restaurant even having a midday gin and tonic. Before she lost some of her mobility only a few years ago, she was active and enjoying life in rural south of the city along the Nanaimo River. 

IF YOU’RE IN THE MOOD for a little jocularity, Nanaimo Theatre Group is staging Lend me a Tenor from Feb. 19 to March 7 at Bailey Studio. The play was last staged by NTG 23 years ago. It's a story about the world’s greatest opera singer accidentally taking a double dose of tranquillizers before a show and the opera manager’s assistant is persuaded to take his place. Tracy Ottenbreit is the renowned singer and David McCormick the impromptu understudy. Tickets $20, available via phone at 250-758-7224 or www.nanaimotheatregroup.ca. MORE

BE PREPARED – Emergency equipment is something you get in the hope of never needing it. That’s the case for the Regional District of Nanaimo in thew uest for an emergency communications trailer designated mobile space where radio messages can be relayed to an emergency operation centre. Approximately $40,000 has been budgeted and the RDN is now looking for grants to help with the cost. First responder radio frequencies, amateur radios and satellite communications will be connected, allowing for direct communications between the RDN, first responders, amateur radio operators, municipal partners, EMBC and neighbouring jurisdictions. MORE

RCMP COMMUNITY POLICING UNIT members were front and centre at Woodgrove Mall Saturday for an interactive auto crime and pedestrian awareness campaign. Volunteers engaged with hundreds of shoppers, bringing awareness to these significant community safety issues, said Dave Cusson, Community Policing Coordinator for the Nanaimo RCMP. MORE DETAILS

CEO BREAKFAST WITH BC TRANSIT - BC Transit President and CEO, Erinn Pinkerton will unveil a new vision for public transportation in British Columbia when she speaks at the Chamber of Commerce networking breakfast Feb. 26 at 7:30 am at the Coast Bastion. Her focus is on technology supporting businesses, employees and customers. In developing the new strategic plan, BC Transit heard similar challenges across the province including creating better mobility options, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting a reduction in congestion.

ARE YOU TOO BUSY to read all the news? Nanaimonet provides a menu of headlines so you can pick and choose what you want to read. For instance, Flair discount ariline is discontinuing service to Abbotsford due to competition from Swoop. Also, did you know Canadians drank so much beer during the 2010 Olympics that extra supplies have to be flown in from German? Or the student driver being charged with impaired driving during his driving lesson. HEADLINES

The Daily Buzz welcomes your news and events tips at Buzz@nanaimonet.com

Wednesday, Feb. 12

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Whether you are or claim to be an indigenous person does not entitle you to breach the Constitution and the laws of the land. Retired lawyer Gary Korpan says there are no free passes from abiding by the law for ethnic, religious, or any other special interest group. Equal treatment under the law is exactly that and must be paramount in a truly democratic society. Protesters' freedom of speech ends at the point they prevent the free speech of others MORE   

CHASING DRUGS– The HMCS Nanaimo is enroute to western Central America, part of a multinational operation to disrupt drug trafficking in the region. Nanaimo and HMCS Whitehorse left Esquimalt on Monday for the beginning of the three-month assignment, the longest deployment of maritime coastal defence vessels from the West Coast for Operation Caribbe. The operation is part of a co-ordinated effort by Western Hemisphere and European militaries and law enforcement agencies to combat drug trafficking and organized crime in the eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Approximately 80 service members are aboard the two ships. A CP-140 Aurora crew from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron Comox has returned from a rotation on Operation Caribbe, enabling a seizure of more than a metric ton of cocaine.

HERITAGE SUMMIT – Nanaimo will hold its annual Heritage Summit at the Nanaimo Museum from Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.. The summit heightens heritage awareness during Provincial Heritage Week (February 17-23), and to network with other local organizations interested in heritage issues. Everyone is welcome to attend. The program includes a number of presentations and discussions:
* Bringing the Past Into the Future - Enjoy a presentation by Christine Meutzner, Nanaimo Community Archivist focused on the theme of "Bringing the Past Into the Future".
* HBC era exhibit - Aimee Greenway, Nanaimo Museum Curator, will provide a short presentation on the changes to its HBC Era exhibit.
* Roundtable discussion - Culture and heritage groups will share their mandate, recent accomplishments and coming projects. If you’d like to go, RSVP to communityplanning@nanaimo.ca or 250-755-4464 prior to Feb. 14.

CULTURE AND HERITAGE of Nanaimo will take the stage Thursday, April 16 at the 2020 Culture And Heritage Awards Ceremony. An evening of recognition and celebration will be held at the Port Theatre to honour these outstanding community members:
* Trish & Geoff Horrocks, Honour in Culture
* Patrick Aleck, Emerging Cultural Leader
* Gary & Adam Manson, Honour in Heritage
* Devon Joiner, Excellence in Culture
Tickets are free but must be reserved. Reserve your tickets online by using the link attached to this press release, online (https://www.porttheatre.com/events/city-of-nanaimos-2020-culture-heritage-awards-ceremony) or by contacting the Port Theatre Box Office directly at 250-754-8550.

The Daily Buzz welcomes your news and events tips at Editor@nanaimonet.com

 

Tuesday, Feb 11. 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Enough is enough. Residents in South Wellington took matters into their own hands and cleared out a homeless squat camp on Saturday. About 40 residents moved in on the camp on private property and Crown land along Hill Avenue. A number of people were living in a run-down house and others were in trailers and RVs. Saturday they moved in with tools, dumpster bins and an excavator and started dismantling the camp. MORE

HOW MANY ARE THERE? Nanaimo is taking part in a national count of people facing homelessness. The census will be conducted March 12, with 60 other Canadian communities. Nanaimo Homeless Coalition, John Howard Society, and United Way will have trained volunteers survey people in shelters, short-term housing and sleeping on the streets. Volunteers are needed to participate in the count by conducting surveys and/or being part of the count. For more information on how to participate, visit Volunteer Opportunities or contact the John Howard Society directly at 250-754-1266.

HAVE YOU VOTED YET for the Nanaimo Business Awards? Voting is now open to the public, closing on Thursday, February 20. The top five votes in each category will become finalists who will then be ranked by an independent judging panel. Winners will be announced at the Nanaimo Business Awards gala event on April 8 at the Port Theatre. To vote for your favorite, or reserve tickets, click HERE.

LIFE IS GOOD – it doesn’t take much effort to enjoy the best of the best. The Grotto Spa at the Tigh-Na-Mara is the most popular spa Canada for the second year in a row. The award is based on unique page views and consumer choices on the Spas of America website. Nineteen other B.C. spas made the top 50 Spas of America list in 2019.

ARE YOU LEAVING? If you plan to leave our Pacific Paradise for the Family Day weekend, B.C. Ferries has suggestions to make things a little easier from Thursday to Monday. Last year, across all routes, BC Ferries carried more than 205,000 passengers for the Family Day long weekend. Historically, the most popular travel times are Thursday and Friday afternoon, as well as Saturday morning from the Lower Mainland. Family Day Monday and the following Tuesday morning are typically the most popular times for people to return to Vancouver from Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. MORE

Monday, Feb. 10, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Let’s start the week off with good news – Western Forest Products and United Steelworkers local 1-1937 have reached a tentative agreement. If ratified by members it will end the long strike by 3,000 union employees on Vancouver Island and coastal B.C. Workers have been off the job since July, 2019.

UNSOLVED MYSTERIES - Thieves made off with thousands of dollars in plumbing equipment in a break-in of a locker on Northfield Drive on Feb 3. They entered the yard by cutting through barbed wire fencing, then destroyed the door to the storage unit.  If you know something, say something. Call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 Nanaimo file # 2020-4235.

STEP UP TO THE PLATE – If you’ve ever considered volunteering, Literacy Central Vancouver Island is looking for a volunteer tutor for indigenous adult learners. The tutor would teach basic numeracy, reading and writing for adults 18-plus. Teaching experience and understanding of barriers to learning, such as addictions, mental health and trauma are required. And a police security check will be paid for by the agency, and commuting costs can also be covered. Call Nicola at 250-754-8988 or e-mail 

SUMMER CAMP - The Canadian Cancer Society needs volunteers for Camp Goodtimes on the Lower Mainland, a camp for kids and families affected by cancer. If you are 19-plus apply at www.campgoodtimes.org, with a variety of positions available as counsellors, dining hall staff members or health-care personnel. Training will happen June 13-14 in Maple Ridge. A police security check is required and is paid for by the agency.

Kaitlin Bureau

UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP have reported the 20-year-old Nanaimo woman has been found safe and sound.

KAITLIN BUREAU IS MISSING – The Nanaimo RCMP seeks help in finding 20-year-old Kaitlin Bureau whose family and friends have lost contact with her, and her current whereabouts are unknown.

Investigators have learned that Bureau is believed to be of no fixed address, has no cell phone and has stopped all social media updates and contact with her family. She is 5 ft. 6 and weighs 140 pounds.

If you have information on the location of Kaitlin Bureau, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345

Ssunday, Feb. 9, 2020

VOTING OPEN FOR AWARDS – There were a record 360 nominations for the Nanaimo Business Awards. Voting is now open to the public and will close on Thursday, February 20. The top five votes in each category will become finalists who will then be ranked by an independent judging panel. Winners will be announced at the Nanaimo Business Awards gala event on April 8 at the Port Theatre. To vote for your favorite, Click HERE.

STREET BANNERS – Rotary clubs in Nanaimo are joining the City for this year’s street light banners competition. The theme for this year is a depiction of the work of Rotary over the past century, highlighting projects and initiatives. Artists are restricted in the colours and techniques they can use. The banners are mounted on light posts along major roads in the City.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT that Vancouver Resource Society has bought Lakeside Gardens in Nanaimo brought some quick responses from current residents. The government announcement stated the average monthly rent is $935. That comes as a surprise to current tenants, some of whom claim they are paying in excess of $3,000 a month. Granted, in some cases meals and other optional services are included. Some are now asking whether they will now be in line for decreased rents. 

LOW LIFES - Just as we might think the human race could not go any lower, along comes someone to cash in on the coronavirus concerns. Someone is trying to sell bottles of hand sanitizer for hundreds of dollars through an online Walmart Marketplace. Hand washing is one of the best ways to keep the coronavirus at bay, prompting many people to buy sanitizers. One seller on the Marketplace lists two-litre bottles of Purell for $268. Walmart Marketplace allows third-party companies to list products on Walmart.ca. That isn’t the only place for sanitizer at inflated prices – on Amazon.ca, some sellers have one-litre bottles of Purell listed for upwards of $100.

AN OBSERVATION - People who support the Carbon Tax can't seem to comprehend that the actual tax is on the consumer not the companies using the fossil fuels. Every penny of the tax is passed on to you, the consumer, leaving the companies with no incentive to change anything they do.

Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020

HOCKEY WEEKEND in Nanaimo as 26 teams compete in five divisions in the 39th annual Tubbers Trounsment at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. The action got under way Friday and continues to Sunday. Bringing in more than 300 players for the weekend is an economic jolt for hotels, restaurants and bars. Games run from 8 a.m. through 11 p.m Friday and Saturday at the Ice Centre, while games Sunday are scheduled between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. 

MICHEL MORIN has been the station leader at Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 27 Nanaimo for the past four years. His strong leadership in fund raising, community awareness and community involvement have put Station 27  in a strong financial position. To recognize his efforts, as he steps down from the position, the station presented Morin with his own boat, a classic eight-foot wooden boat, the M. Morin which is fully equipped to the Transport Canada requirements for such a vessel.

Dr. Carol Stuart

DR. CAROL STUART has been affirmed as Provost and Vice-President Academic for Vancouver Island Universityc. Dr. Stuart will provide leadership and direction to the academy, ensuring VIU continues to achieve excellence in teaching, learning, scholarship, and service. She will work with Indigenous communities to support, enhance and develop relevant initiatives across the curriculum, as well as continue existing partnerships with communities. Her work will support initiatives that foster Indigenous education, leadership, and opportunity; strengthen and advance research and scholarship at the University, and build partnerships with communities and industry partners to enhance social and economic development in the region.

NANAIMO WILL BE well represented at the B.C. Winter Games in Fort St. John from Feb. 20-23 –  22 young people from Nanaimo and Lantzville have made the team. The largest local group is on the Vancouver Island-Central Coast judo team, with eight Nanaimo athletes and two coaches. Nanaimo is also sending a large group of karate athletes – six competitors, three officials and a coach. CHECK the list of sports and who is going.

SAYSUTCHUN – The City has awarded Snuneymuxw First Nation $50,000 toward the operation of the Saysutshun (Newcastle Island) ferry service for 2019 and $100,000 for 2020. The provincial marine park is a jewel within the city.  SFN uses the Saysutshun name for its historical significance as a former village site. Promotion of the historical, cultural, recreational and natural value Saysutshun helps to advance the island as a recreation and tourism destination. The partnership with the city is touted as ensuring affordable continued access to the island for everyone. Chief  Mike Wyse  said the partnership will enhance ferry service, and continue the partnership with Tourism Nanaimo and others advances reconciliation and contributes to unlocking the potential of the island.  

Friday, Feb. 7, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – If you’ve dreamed about getting face to face with a city councillor, here’s your chance, Saturday from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. at Woodgrove Centre. Councillors Don Bonner, Tyler Brown, Erin Hemmens and Ben Geselbracht will be there to speak with anyone who wants to bend their ear. Bonner says other councillors may also show up at Blenz Coffee in the mall. They want your opinions and ideas on how to make Nanaimo a better place. "We have ideas, but what really matters are your opinions and ideas. Visit us so you can share your thoughts, let us know what we are doing right and what we need to improve,” adds Bonner.

LAKESIDE GARDENS in Nanaimo has been sold to the Vancouver Resource Society in partnership with the Province, through BC Housing. Lakeside is an independent and assisted-living retirement residence with 123 units. The average monthly rent is $935. MORE

Nanaimo RCMP are asking residents keep their eyes open for gold rings lost on Monday

MISSING JEWELRY – A Nanaimo woman lost her rings after taking them off for a photo shoot near her residence, in the 300 block of Bruce Avenue. She told police she searched frantically for the rings but to no avail, and is hoping someone will find them and turn them in. Both rings are white gold, with the bottom band having three rows of white and black diamonds. The other ring has three large black diamonds with white diamonds surrounding it. If anyone finds these items, contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2020-4264.

THIEVES LEFT EMPTY HANDED - Nothing appears to have been taken when thieves broke into a cargo trailer at 6315 Metral Drive on Monday night. The trailer was secured by three locks and all were broken off. The thieves were apparently not interested in the furniture as nothing appeared to have been taken. If you know something, say something. Call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. Nanaimo file # 2020-3367  

BACK IN BUSINESS - The doors are open again at That 50’s Barbershop in downtown Nanaimo after a robbery. GoFundMe campaign raised more than $7,500 in one day for the shop after it was robbed overnight on Tuesday. Personal items, barber equipment, cash and memorabilia were stolen from the shop on Victoria Cres.

HERO RECOGNIZED - Dolores Poirer has a hero in her life, a life that was likely saved when Dirk Maritz helped dislodge food that was choking her. She was at a restaurant when the incident occurred and Maritz just happened to be there. He was given Good Samaritan Award on Wednesday by BC Emergency Health Services.  Nanaimo paramedics presented the award. Click here for the touching story.

Mayor to address Chamber of Commerce luncheon Feb. 12

The Feb. 12 Chamber of Commerce networking luncheon at the Coast Bastion will feature Mayor Leonard Krog with a state of the city address. 

The luncheon is sponsored by the Nanaimo Child Development Centre, 
Dominic Rockall, Executive Director of the Nanaimo Child Development Centre, will be also speak on a partnership in a socially inclusive playspace at Maffeo Sutton Park that will break ground soon.

Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020

IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE – Nanaimo Fire Rescue has a timely reminder after two residential fires on Tuesday – the importance of working smoke alarms. The homes in the Westwood and Hillside neighbourhoods were saved thanks to working smoke alarms. Residents got an early warning through smoke detectors in their home security systems. Fire crews extinguished fires before serious damage to both homes. As a result, families were able to return homes without having to relocate. If you’d like more information on installing and maintaining a smoke alarm in your home, contact Nanaimo Fire Rescue at 250-753-7311 or fireinfo@nanaimo.ca.

NEW RULES – If you’re planning to set up a supervised consumption site you’ll have some new rules to go by. City council affirmed that such facilities will have to go through a site-specific zoning process, complete with public hearings. A staff report said the new bylaw would give council a “greater level of oversight and accountability” for any potential supervised consumption sites. 

COMMUNITY POLICING volunteers will be at Woodgrove Centre on Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm, promoting auto crime awareness and pedestrian safety. Volunteers will handout crime prevention items, on two very important issues – reducing auto theft and increasing pedestrian safety. The community policing van will be on hand for an interactive “spot the target” activity raising community awareness of items that thieves commonly steal from parked vehicles. Dave Cusson, Community Policing co-ordinator shoppers can play the  game by indicating on a ballot what items they think thieves target. The ballots will go into a draw for gift cards from Woodgrove. 

THE 50s BARBERSHOP on Victoria Crescent was broken into thsi week with thieves making off with high-end clippers and collectable items.  Owner Dave Lawrence is devastated by the  theft and is unsure about keeping his shop open. Upon arriving at work , Lawrence found the front door open and a cash box missing. Also taken were several extremely expensive cutting clippers, which will be difficult to replace. Also taken from his walls, were some action figure collectables. Lawrence spearheads charity drives to support the youth in Nanaimo. If you have information on this incident, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020

NOT GOOD NEWS – Striking Western Forest Products workers who had their hopes up after mediators joined the negotiations have had their hopes dashed when the mediators booked out. The dispute between the United Steelworkers union and Western Forest Products has stretched for more than half a year. Western Forest Products issued a news release stating mediators Vince Ready and Amanda Rogers have withdrawn from the mediation process “as they see no basis for a negotiated settlement at this time.” The strike began on July 1 and affects Western Forest Products’ USW-certified manufacturing and timberlands operations in B.C.

BAIL OUT – If you were one of the unfortunate victims of last week’s flooding and were not insured, the B.C. government will help. Homeowners, residential tenants, small business owners, farmers, charitable organizations and local government bodies who were unable to obtain insurance to cover disaster-related losses will have assistance made available. It covers 80 per cent of total eligible damage over $1,000, up to a maximum claim for $300,000. Claimants must prove that the home is their principal residence.

UNSOLVED – A green men’s Kona Mahuna mountain bike, was stolen Jan. 29 from the parking lot of the Keg on Wesley Street. The owner had run inside for a few minutes and when he returned the bike was gone. The serial number is AF90200220 . If you have information about who took the bike or where it might be, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2020-3696 

MISSING PERSON – Do you know where Donovan Roloson is? Friends and family have not seen the 32 year old since Jan. 22. RCMP hope the public can help find him. In the past, Roloson maintained regular contact with friends, but all contact stopped Jan 22. He is white, 5-foot-9 and 145 pounds, has blond hair and hazel eyes. He is an amicable individual with no medical conditions. If you have any information, please call Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

THE BIG TIME – I've hit the big time now – I just got an e-mail for Warren Buffet, the American gazillionaire and he wants to give me $2.5 mllion. All I have to do is confirm my email address. I don't have the money yet, so don't ask me to share. Have a great day.

Tuesday, Feb. 4

GOOD MORNING - Seven gold and diamond rings with an estimated value of $15,000 were stolen from Luis Porretta Fine Arts and Antiques Jan. 26. Police belive someone walking by in the mall broke the rear door to the display, reached in and removed the items. Anyone with information about who took the rings or where they might be is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 and quote file No. 2020-3211.

SO MUCH FOR THE SNOW – The city got another dusting of snow overnight, but that should be it. Environment Canada says no more snow in the forecast, as Wednesday will see periods of rain and Thursday and Friday are expected to be rainy.

THE THIRD ANNUAL Nanaimo Craft Beer Week Axe And Grind Barrel Bash frun on Wednesday, February 19 at 7:30 p.m. They’ve got axe-throwing and arcade games alongside a curated selection of exclusive, barrel-aged craft beers so you won’t want to miss this one. Tickets are available at www.nanaimocraftbeer.com to check out our other events. 

CONGRATULATIONS to Thomas Forrest who is the new station leader at Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Nanaimo Station 27. Russell  Berg was elected Deputy Station.  Forest replaces Michel Morin who held the post for the past four years. The station is manned by volunteers who devote hundreds of hour in training and rescue work on the ocean.

Monday, Feb. 3, 2020

GOOD MORNING FERRY RIDERS – The government tells us they want to know how we envision B.C. Ferries in the future. The Transportation Ministry is conducting an online survey at http://engage.gov.bc.ca/coastalferries. Key themes heard at public meetings in October and November indicated that ferry services should support efficient end-to-end travel of people and goods, be equitable and accessible, mitigate and be responsive to climate change, and reflect the values of coastal communities. We’d be forgiven if we get the feeling of social engineering in high gear.

WELCOME TO NANAIMO - Karen Love is the new executive director of the Boys and Girls of Central Vancouver Island. She’s a newcomer to Vancouver Island, having come here from Alberta, where she held senior management positions with the Boys and Girls Club of Calgary and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. The club notes that she has extensive experience in financial management, program development and fundraising. 

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ­– B.C. is putting $2 million into improving professional development for early childhood educators around the province. The new program will fund 32 pedagogists (teaching specialists) around the province. Katrina Chen, minister of state for child care, made the announcement in Nanaimo this morning. The pedagogists at hubs at post-secondary institutions, child care referral centres and in indigenous communities will work with dozens of early childhood educators in their areas. 

DON’T CALL THE COPS – Non-emergency telephone service at the Nanaimo RCMP station remains disrupted after a landslide on the Mainland knocked out some services throughout the province. Police say callers to the non-emergency lines can get through but can’t be forwarded to dispatch. In a weekend notice, Sgt. Jon Stuart said until this is issue is corrected, please don’t call in non-urgent issues. Voice mails can be left for the police to follow up with you later. For any emergency requiring an urgent response, call 911, but don’t call 911 for non-emergency issues. An update will be provided once the issue has been corrected.

WHEN WILL IT END? – The Federal Court of Appeal is set to release its decision today on the latest challenge of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Four First challenged after the federal government approved the project a second time last June. A hearing in December focused on the government’s consultation with the First Nations between August 2018 and June 2019. The consultation took place after the Court of Appeal struck down the first project approval in August 2018 in part because of insufficient dialogue with Indigenous groups. Let’s hope the court comes up with a definitive ruling to finally put this issue to bed.

Sunday, Feb 2, 2020

GOOD MORNING - If you're heading to Victoria, the highway is now open after a mudslide on the Malahat caused traffic delays on Saturday afternoon. Many roads and sections of highway were flooded or damaged across Vancouver Island. The southbound lane of the Malahat between Wellswood Road and Finlayson Arm Road was hit with a mudslide around 11 a.m. on Saturday. The 1 kilometre stretch of road passing through Goldstream Provincial Park was closed intermittently while crews dealt with the clean-up. Traffic patterns returned to normal around 3 p.m.

MANITOBA MERV – We're all familiar with Groundhog Day – today – with the mascot rodents popular across the continent. Manitoba even has its own – Manitoba Merv who predicted an early spring for that Prairie province.  Merv has been at the weather prognostication game at the Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre for about 25 years, and he didn't see his shadow at the annual event. Hmm, does our province hve a willing marmot to act as a prognosticator of the seasons? It should not be difficult to find one on Green Mountain, should it? Since there would have been no shadow with today's cloudy weather, he/she would have forecast an early spring for us as well. I'll take that.

URGENT NOTICE - RCMP phones

0201 - An urgent notice has been issued by Sergeant Jon Stuart that Nanaimo RCMP phone lines are experiencing some loss of function. Telus later posted that its system was having problems with some lines throughout the province.
 
9-1-1 has not been affected. Callers are able to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency lines, however their calls are not able to be forwarded to dispatch, and your call for service cannot be created.  Until this is issue is corrected, please refrain from calling in non-urgent issues.  Voice mails can be left for the police to follow up with you later.  For any emergency, requiring an urgent response, please call 9-1-1.
 
An update will be provided when this has been corrected.
 

FEb 1, 2020

A FABULOUS DAILY BUZZ – If there’s one person who has had more than her share of challenges in life it is Sharon Krog. I got the happy note from Len last night that Sharon has been released from hospital and is on her way home after two open heart surgeries within 24 hours. Sharon has been living on the edge for ages, first waiting to get a date for surgery, and then having a setback once it was done. “Good news is that once in, the surgeon was able to repair, not replace, the tricuspid valve. So there will be no need for another surgery in eight to ten years,” Len wrote. “We are very happy and very grateful to all who have prayed for and supported Sharon through all of this.” We and all of our readers could not be happier.

SLIPPERY SLOPE - The Regional District of Nanaimo is not letting any grass grow under its feet, it’s asking for a temporary halt to outdoor marijuana cultivation after concerns by Quennell Lake residents. The smell and the possibility that chemicals in water seepage could make their way into the lake has them concerned. The RDN will ask the agriculture, environment and forest ministries for a provincial moratorium until there are standards similar to indoor cannabis production, and a farm practices guide for cannabis. Cedar-area director Keith Wilson said the measure is designed to bring in a minister’s standard like that done for indoor cultivation.  “It’s obvious to anybody around this field that they moved very quickly and probably didn’t do the homework they should’ve done. All we’re asking is that they do that homework now,” Wilson told the board.

HAPPY NEW YEAR – That goes for Fido as well – dog licences are now due, and if you hurry up you can even get a discount if you renew before the end of this month. (February 28). A dog licence and identification tag are required for every dog in Nanaimo over the age of 12 weeks. Licences are $30 with a $5 discount before February 28. If a resident becomes the owner of a new dog after July 1 the fee is reduced to $20. To renew, go to the City Services and Resource Centre (411 Dunsmuir Street) and the Nanaimo Animal Shelter (1260 Nanaimo Lakes Road). You can renew in person or online at www.nanaimo.ca. New licences must be purchased in person.

Flooding creates emergencies in central Island

0201 - Heavy rain has caused significant flooding in the Englishman and Nanaimo rivers area. Residents of Wilkinson, Riverside, Alice and Raines roads in the Nanaimo River area and Martindale and Plummer roads near Englishman River were affected. SEE NEWS PAGE