Archive for February, 2009


stairs11What’s Missing from this Picture?

If you guessed the  problematic stairs at Deverill Park, you’re 100% correct.  Plus, the newly extended fence will allow the  “At Play” paintings to grow around the perimeter of the park.

According to Kirsty MacDonald of the Parks & Rec Dept: “Parks is looking forward to finishing the playground improvements for summer use including installing a new spray park, paving a tricycle path around the play area and improving the site furnishings.”

Arlene On You Tube

You might have guessed that also missing from the picture is Arlene,  our red-jacketed regular from the corner of Milton and Haliburton. She’s featured in a video on You Tube titled “Gutsy Mama”.


No word yet on whether she’s been asked to used her pad of paper to sign autographs!

New By-law Enforcement Officer Bill Kiselbach

billMost of Nanaimo’s by-law enforcement officers work all over the city, but there are a few areas where a dedicated officer is located.  One of those areas stretches from Comox Avenue in the north to Milton Street in the south, and includes downtown, Nob Hill, and parts of the South End and old City Quarter.  Bill Kiselbach took over the position of “downtown bylaw officer” earlier this month and works out of the Community Policing and Service Office located at 18 Victoria Crescent.

Bill’s job is to ensure that Nanaimo’s by-laws are abided by: that buildings, residences, and public areas are safe and being used and maintained in the way they were intended.  He patrols public areas.  He assists property owners who request help for the removal of squatters from their property.  He assists the police and other agencies during investigations of nuisance properties and grow ops.

Then there are the more complicated situations where by-Laws and city departments work in tandem. For example, Bill works with the Engineering and Building Departments around new building construction, and he deals with illegal suites and houses that may be deemed unsafe.

I asked Bill to list the top issues he’s been dealing with over the past month.  He said:

“Every day is SO different!  But what I see most right now are issues involving property maintenance, such as garbage all over yards.  The other one is squatters – people on city or private property that have no legal right to be there.  I try to spend about 1.5 hours daily in the downtown parks and parkades, being the eyes and ears for the police.  If I see something illegal, I’ll call them.”

So, Bill, when people have a specific problem in their neighbourhood, who should they call…the city department or by-laws?  Either is fine, according to Bill.  The downtown Community Policing and Service Office intends to make things easier for downtowners and south enders to report problems that may be straddling both city by-laws and the law.  If you aren’t sure who you should be calling, the Community Policing and Service Office will channel your call through to the right place.  You can reach the Community Policing and Service office at (250) 753-3777 between the hours of 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday.

Bill, we know that if nothing else, you’ll NEVER have a dull moment working in the South End!  May EVERY day continue to be different!


Speaking of Community Policing, the new Director of the Downtown Nanaimo Partnership, Matt Hussman, attended the February SECA meeting.  He moved here a little over a month ago from Washington DC, and is trying to get a handle on the most critical issues in the downtown area.  One of the biggies is safety.

To that end, they they would like to hear from people who are living/working in/around the downtown area, or people who walk to downtown on a regular basis.  They’ve created a survey; we’ll bring some hard copies to the next SECA meeting.  Or you can e-mail Sharon Welch and she will send you one: Sharon.Welch@nanaimo.ca

Are you a Green-thumbed Organizer?

Tucked away in a sunny corner beside the Princess Royal family centre is a little patch of heaven…well admittedly there are one or two weeds…ok, quite a lot of weeds actually…but the point is we have an uncultivated treasure, an oasis of hope, a symbol of renewal, crying out for a firm hand on the plough!

A brief history:

  • the garden has been around for many years and was originally cultivated by John McKay and other teachers at the school.
  • It was briefly an exercise yard  for Maggies’ goats, who demolished all available greenery but were a big hit with the kids.
  • Eileen Bennewith, community nutritionist, took up the mantle when VIHA took over the school and did a power of work to get it going and incorporate it into the community kitchens program.
  • Various SECA members have chipped in and helped out, Signey Parkin in particular, but what has been lacking is one or a few local residents  to really take the project on.

The purpose of a community garden is to provide local residents who perhaps have no access to a garden with an opportunity to share in the production and harvest of fresh organic produce at a fraction of the cost.  The Princess Royal Family Centre lease the garden and make it available to local neighborhood residents to develop as a community resource.

We have a possible benefactor in the generous form of Helen Phelps who owns a shop called “Dream With Me” downtown on Commercial.  She has offered to fund the purchase of various plants and seeds and SECA has funds available also. If you’re interested or would like more information, please come along to our next SECA meeting at 7pm on March 4th at Princess Royal.

Amber Alert!

Missing….one of the neighbourhoods more colourful characters!  We don’t think that she would leave the South End on her own and without a fight.  We say that because she has no arms, legs or feet..:)  We’re talking, of course, about one of our Art Bins, which if you’ve been paying attention, are starting to pop up all over the place.  Except one of them seems to have been bin-napped from Sandra’s Head-to-Toe Salon.

We won’t show the photo of it here, because it might simply have been an error in judgment, someone thinking that the bins are there for the taking, and we don’t want to embarrass you.

Serena Omm, who will calm your fears and eat your garbage at the same time.  A true multi-tasker.

Serena Omm, who will calm your fears and inhale your garbage at the same time. BREATHE deeply now...all is WELL!

Eye-leen: she sees all, she knows all, she eats all.

Eye-leen. She SEES all. She KNOWS all. She EATS all.

So let’s take a moment and tell you HOW the Trashy Art Bin project works.  While many of the original bins were generously funded and created by residents, not everyone is in a position to buy their own garbage can.  So with some much-appreciated support from the City of Nanaimo, and some generous donations of paint and time, we’ve (SECA) moved to buying bins for people to

Ernie the Environmentalist.  Comes with photo of Dr David Suzuki.

Ernie the environmentalist. Comes with photo of Dr David Suzuki

FOSTER.  That means we own it, and you look after it. We provide you with a chain so it doesn’t wander off.  If you and the bin don’t hit it off, we’ll find another home for it.

So far, all the bins that are painted (including these) are either hanging out around the South End or getting ready to go to their new foster homes.  But stay tuned…we hope to have a few more colourful personalities ready for the NEXT newsletter!

And if you WOULD like to foster a bin, call Sandra at 753-1394 to get more information.

Balmoral Update

Fresh off the press, from the Feb 27 Nanaimo Daily News.  Click here.

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Mini Litter Pickup THIS Saturday Feb 28 CANCELLED due to SNOW

Meet for coffee or breakfast at the MGM Restaurant (240 Nicol)
@ 8:45. We’ll fan out around 9:30 to clean up for an hour and then deposit our litter in MGM’s bin (thanks Tony and Katrina).
Bring gloves and extra plastic grocery bags. By 10:30, you’re on your way, and may even have burned off the calories from breakfast!

Next SECA Meeting Wed March 4

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

Planned Agenda

1.  Miner’s Heritage Day

The newsletter editor would like to acknowledge that this event rests solely on the shoulders of Charles Torhjelm and a handful (and I MEAN handful) of stalwart volunteers. Charles’ dedication over the years has been the engine behind the South End’s summer event of the year.

Come and tell us what you love about the event and what else you’d like to see this year.

2.  Mega Litter Pickup Day

Our annual mega-litter pick up jointly sponsored by SECA and the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange will be happening at the end of March – early April.   We have held the event for the past 7 years and annually gather a tremendous amount of garbage from our streets and lanes, followed by a BBQ in the park.  It’s a fun day that makes a real impact on the physical appearance of the neighbourhood.

THIS event has been shouldered single-handedly by our great and glorious leader, Douglas Hardie.

So let’s figure out how we can get the best out of this effort.  For example, we’ve talked about adding some extra focus on the lane that’s been the centre of drug activity.  Maybe you have some more ideas.

3.  Getting organized:

We’ve talked about ways to “spread the word” to people who aren’t internet savvy i.e. phone trees, print newsletter distribution.  We’d like to share those ideas and get your feedback.

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Occasionally What’s Up In The South End will feature an agency or organization working in our neighborhood. This month is about the 7-10 Club.

The Nanaimo 7-10 Club society was formed in January 1985 by a group of concerned volunteers of differing faith backgrounds. The Club recognized a vital service was needed to feed the hungry in our community so set up a program to provide families and individuals with low incomes a hot breakfast and bagged lunch.

During the Club’s first year of operation over 13,000 meals were served. On average 100 people were served daily with a high of 188. For 22years the 7-10 Club operated at St. Peter’s Catholic Church and by 2007 were serving between 250 – 350 meals per day.

Since September of 2007 the society has been located, with the grace of the City of Nanaimo, in the auditorium of the Community Service Building at 285 Prideaux St. Due to the lack of a proper kitchen, in the building, Brechin United Church has been most generous in allowing staff to prepare sandwiches which are then transported to Prideaux St. and served with coffee, juice, fruit and snacks. The unfortunate result of this relocation meant we could no longer provide our signature hot breakfast of soup or porridge.

The 7 – 10 Club also saw its hours cut from 7:00 – 10:00 to 7:00 – 8:30. Other results of the move have been that the numbers of those using the service have dropped significantly, averaging 100 per day, with many of the families no longer accessing the program.

Funds for the 7-10 Club come from the generous donations by individuals, businesses, service clubs, city grants and gaming revenues. Volunteers have been a mainstay of the 7-10 club since its inception

GREAT NEWS, we have recently been given permission to formally lease the auditorium space from the city and renovate by putting in a fully functional kitchen, this also means that our hours can go back to normal. Renovations should be completed by May 2009 and we fully expect that once we are again providing a hot breakfast more families will again avail themselves of the service.

— Gordon Fuller

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What Else?

SECA T Shirts Selling Like Hotcakes!

t-shirt-printThere are only a FEW of our colourful  Tshirts left!

Kid Sizes

  • 1 Med Yellow
  • 1 Blue Large

Adult Sizes

  • 1 each Large in Lime, Red,  Blue
  • 3 XL in Lime, 1 XL in Black


All $20 each

If you want a Tee shirt please call Sandra Zuccolini at 753-1394.


Yoga Donation

What a surprise it was to receive a whimsical card from the “Bendover backwards” Yoga Peace Practice along with a $120 donation.  The card read: “Dear Southenders: Blessings to you for your celebration and strengthening of health and vitality in Nanaimo’s South End.” We have to admit that we didn’t celebrate peacefully at all, we whooped it up in the meeting!  We REALLY appreciate your thoughtfulness!  Thank you so VERY much.

“Identity Theft Prevention” Workshops

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about reducing your risk and vulnerability through awareness, planning, and positive action.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009 (5:30 pm to 7:30 pm)

Downtown – location TBA

Cost? FREE !  But seating is limited. Reserve your seats by calling Sharon Welch at the Community Policing Station (250-753-3777).

Want Ads

Still 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 and the kind of young man you’d like your daughter to bring home (bright, responsible, no visible body piercings.)  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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