Archive for January, 2009


Fire in The South End Leaves Families Homeless

As you probably know a fire on Friday January 16 at 37 Haliburton left two families homeless. They have lost most of their possessions. People are talking about having a fund-raiser or silent auction to help them. Please bring your ideas to the SECA meeting on Wednesday.

Donations can be made to the families at any Nanaimo Royal
Bank branch.  Please make your cheques out to “fire on Haliburton St. fund.”

For the Nanaimo Daily News story about the fire click here.

Balmoral Hotel Renovation Up-date

The renovations to the Balmoral Hotel continue to progress. The
administration offices (former manager suite) are complete and CMHA administration and some of our programs are housed there. The former bar has been completely gutted and now has the framing up for six offices and a reception area. Wiring and plumbing are currently being done and we are hoping that they will be ready for VIHA Outreach, Ministry of Social Development and Housing Outreach, and our peer support workers will be in there by the middle of March.

New boilers for heat and on-demand hot water heaters have been
installed in the building and so all tenants now have heat, which they
didn’t have for the two years prior to our purchase of the building.
The fire department attended the building last week as someone in the
neighbourhood mistook the steam venting from the boiler system for
smoke and called in the alarm. The roof is being completed now that
the snow and nasty weather has ended and we are still in the planning
stages for suite renovations. We have ordered new exterior doors for
the building which should help with the access issues we face from

Security is on site at the building every night and, with a few
exceptions, we have been able to manage to keep the building fairly
quite. There have been some bumps with tenants and non-tenants in the building but we work very closely with the RCMP and other emergency services. We have banned several people from the building and have charged one with trespassing. Our outreach team meets weekly with the Bike Patrol and I meet monthly, or more often depending on need, with RCMP members to discuss issues with the building. Our desire is to have 24/7 staffing whose work will be on tenant and building supports so that the people housed in the Balmoral have access to service and the access to the building is limited.

Peppermill Frozen Meals, a program of CMHA, is moving in to the old
cafe this month and will sell frozen meals to clients of the mental
health service system on a subscription only basis. The cafe will NOT
be used as a cafe, only as a kitchen and a pick up site for the meal

Hopefully once the nicer weather begins, we can turn our attention to
the facade of the building and to our full integration into the

Christina Martens, Executive Director CMHA


Looking for a place to call home sweet home: a solid responsible professional – 30ish- wants to live in the South End.  Looking for a decent 1 bedroom suite, up to $650/month.  This is the kind of tenant that good landlords are looking for.  Willing to wait for the right place; needs to give notice to existing landlord. E-mail SECA at southendcommunityassociation@gmail.com and we’ll link you up.


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7:00 PM Wednesday February 4
at  the Princess Royal Family Centre.
(Corner of Irwin and Farquhar)


Monday, February 23rd  7pm, St Paul's Church hall

Everyone welcome

Membership required to vote. Annual membership $10

Loaves & Fishes Food Bank begins the year in good shape with food in
the warehouse and money in the bank. We send our wishes for a safe and
happy New Year to all our friends & neighbors in the Southend.

The year ended with the Christmas Hamper Program, a cooperative
program of Loaves & Fishes and the Salvation Army.

40 tonnes of food were donated and another $30,000 purchased
perishable food  to provide 1375 Christmas Hampers in Nanaimo.

We worked in cramped quarters at the old Northfield School and battled
the white weather but the volunteers, hundreds of them, made it

There was almost 20 tonnes of food left after the hampers were done
and that was shared between the 2 organizations. That helps both
organizations through the winter months. Thanks to everyone who helped

Tom Jackson "Singing for Supper" was a special treat and raised much
needed funds.

We enter 2009 knowing we have good support in the community; knowing
that we will rely on that support because the need is already growing.

Joanne Dundas


Saturday January 31 Meet at the MGM Restaurant 240 Nicol at 8:45 AM for breakfast or coffee. We will fan out about 9:30 and be done about 10:30.  Bring gloves and extra plastic grocery bags.





As you may be aware the South End Neighbourhood (bordered by the railway tracks to the west, waterfront to the east, Esplanade to the Nort and Centennial Rd. to the south), for those with computer see Nanaimo Neighbourhood Associations Map , will be doing a Neighbourhood Plan for the area.


While we had hoped to begin the process in January it has recently been put off until the City of Nanaimo Budget has been approved by Council, possibly until March/April. The South End Community Association is currently trying to determine a steering committee comprised of approximately 10 people to oversee the process of developing our neighbourhood plan. The Committee will be comprised of members of the association, seniors, youth, business owners etc., representative of the various demographics of the neighbourhood. If interested please contact Douglas Hardie at 754-0677. Neighbourhood Plans are generally completed in a one-to-two year time frame. Participants on the steering committee should be willing to spend, on average, two to three evenings a month working on the plan.


Plenty of options, through community forums, will be made available for general input to the Neighbourhood Plan from those living in the area.




The following information has been borrowed from the City of Nanaimo Websites section on Neighbourhood Planning .


In 2008, Council adopted a new Official Community Plan for the City of Nanaimo. Neighbourhood planning is described under Goal 7 of the plan, “Work Towards a Sustainable Nanaimo.” Where the Official Community Plan is general in nature, Neighbourhood Plans were seen as a means to address issues unique to each Neighbourhood.

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

A Neighbourhood Plan is a set of guidelines outlining how an area should grow and change over time.


A Neighbourhood Plan deals primarily with land use decisions such as how best to accommodate an increase in population over the next 10 to 25 years, in terms of housing, recreation needs, increased traffic, public transit, impacts on the environment, commercial needs etc.


Land use decisions must take into account economic and social impacts. Obviously, a land use decision, such as whether or not to support a commercial development in a particular Neighbourhood, will have an impact on other businesses in the immediate vicinity and the greater City.


All Neighbourhood Plans in the City must address the seven goals of the Official Community Plan, and tailor applications of these goals in a manner that is acceptable to area residents.


Stay tuned for more information. Next month: How does the Neighbourhood Planning process work? What are the limitations and benefits of a Neighbourhood Plan?

Gordon W. Fuller

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bin1.  Lilly the Flower. Bright, lively and willing to please, Lilly is hoping to be fostered by someone who lives on the sunny side of the street.  Plays well with others, especially daffodils and tulips…likes to be part of a bouquet.  Willing to be an “only” bin if there are lots of people passing by so she doesn’t get lonely and wilt.  Loves the fragrant aroma of coffee cups and french fry containers.  Not too happy about dog poop  (but who IS….?)


2.  Percy the Pirate.  Seeking bold places to go, and adventures along the way.  Might be a problem bin, so we need a strong foster person who can keep him under control.  Quite feisty, Percy may kick back if attacked.  Might double as a watchdog/watchbin on your property, scaring away other pirates.  Wants to be near the salty scent of the sea.  Has a soft spot for old running shoes, donut boxes, and empty rum bottles.  Spits out dog poop.


3.  Stella the Star. Stella hasn’t quite decided yet whether she wants to be a starfish when she grows up or to be a star in the sky.  She’s a bit of a prima donna, and a little self-centred.  But as long as you keep feeding her, she’ll be well-behaved.  She would like to be somewhere where she gets LOTS of attention, preferably a steady stream of passers-by…this is NOT a cul-de-sac kind of gal.  Has a weakness for water bottles, old clothing with sequins, and chocolate bar wrappers.  Believes dog poop is “beneath” her stature in life, but every upcoming celebrity has to deal with some crap along the way.

If you would like more information about or are interested in fostering a bin,  please call Sandra Zuccolini at 753-1394.

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City governments are composed of elected mayors and councils. Day to day activity involves city managers, by-law officers, city planners and other officials. In total they are a relative handful of people who have to deal, on a daily basis, with the problems, needs and desires of tens of thousands of citizens. A daunting task for sure.

This is where citizen involvement comes in. Rather than leaving everything up to city government, citizens take the initiative and try to work out the problems they face and to develop the sort of community they want to live in. In the same way when citizens take an interest in their neighborhood, the tasks of the police are lighter, allowing them to concentrate on serious crime, so too with city government. The more citizen involvement, the more the city government can concentrate on the large-scale issues.

One important form of citizen involvement is the neighborhood association. These organizations are a key component of civic democracy. As voluntary, grass roots, micro-level organizations they are aware of what is needed since the membership is living it. When an association exists, rather than neighbors suffering in silence, isolation and frustration, a forum is provided to discuss and deal with problems. Problems get worked on in the neighborhood before hand and the association can then work with and advise city government.

Every neighborhood has a wealth of people with rich life experience and skills such as organizing, speaking, writing, horticulture, music and art. A neighborhood association brings such people together and utilizes their various talents.

Having an association means a neighborhood can better cope with new problems when they arise. Ad hoc organizations are fine in some situations, but for a neighborhood it is better to have a group on the ground already. An existing group will have worked out a general approach to issues from previous experience. Without an association, overly-emotional, confrontational or NIMBY stances to new problems are more likely to occur.

As a neighborhood organization, the association is also more than just an advocacy group. It reflects, in the broad sense of the word the culture of the neighborhood, its history, its way of being. Indeed, if a neighbourhood association is only an advocacy group, it won’t be as rooted, long-lasting and influential as one with a wider perspective.

Larry Gambone

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