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Archive for March, 2009

Neighbourhood Plan Delayed

In light of the current economic situation, city officials have been pouring over their budgets, trying to get as much for their dollar as possible.  One of the possible budget lines on the chopping block was the 2 neighbourhood plans slated for this year.

Now we’re not really sure about those other guys, but we believe that there is NO neighbourhood in the city undergoing as much change as the South End right now.  A neighbourhood plan will:

  • Allow us to plan for less light industrial and more residential.
  • Give us the clarity to get involved in issues like wharf lands development.
  • Help us better partner with downtown to deal with safety issues and Nicol Street improvements.
  • Ensure that if/when the Sandstone and Cable Bay developments south of town ramp up, we won’t become the default high-traffic corridor to downtown.

So we sprung..er, sprang to action (dictionary.com says both words are good, so we did both..:)  SECA board member Pat Portsmouth presented our case to City Council on March 16, and our board members attended council meeting on March 23.   Pat reminded them that: 1) we’ve been very busy since we applied for the plan back in September 2007,  2) that we’re ready to go and that 3) we’re a thrifty bunch of volunteers.  She and board Vice Chair Gord Fuller have been lobbying to get the votes we need from council to stay on the budget for this year.  We’re optimistic…as usual…!

News coverage:

South-End Residents Want Promised Plan

Thanks to Matt Hussman at the Downtown Nanaimo Partnership for writing a letter of support for our plan.

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Deverill Square Park Improvements

kristy

You may have noticed some upgrades to the washroom building at Deverill Square Park.  The Parks Recreation and Culture Department has been working to make them safer and universally accessible. The upgrades are nearing completion.

In addition, families in the South End can look forward to a new tricycle trail and spray park for summer 2009.   Underground works will begin this April while paving and above ground work will be completed by June 15th (in time for the warm weather and Miner’s Picnic).  The conceptual water park design and elements are pictured below.

Parking and road end upgrades along Irwin Street are also planned for fall 2009.

~Kirsty MacDonald
Parks and Recreation

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Omni Foods Moves To South End

Omni Building

The building at 106 Fry Street has been spiffed up and now houses Omni Foods.  Omni Foods warehouses and distributes a wide variety of food items to convenience stores including Shell, Husky, Esso, Gas n Go, and the General Stores and Markets.

Originally located on Boban Road, they outgrew their former location and moved to the South End in December.  Welcome to Barry, Donna, Dave and the rest of your staff, and thanks for the great reno job!

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Nanaimo VIPs attend SECA Meetings

We’ve been really fortunate over the past few months to have some great resource folks attend our meetings and give us updates.  We’d like to say “thanks” to:

  • Chris Sholberg, who is our neighbourhood plan expert
  • Dave Laberge and Cameron Thompson from the RCMP, who have attended the past 2 meetings to give us updates on their efforts
  • Matt Hussman from the Downtown Nanaimo Partnership, who has been keeping us abreast of their activities
  • MLA Doug Routley, who dropped in in February
  • Councillors Fred Pattje and Jim Kipp, who were great resources at our March meeting.

We know it takes extra time for you to come and attend, and we are really grateful for your ongoing support in the South End!

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Haliburton Loses a Bit of Traffic

Two houses containing illegal suites at 45 & 47 Haliburton Street were the source of inspection by the fire department, leading to tenant evictions.  As well, the RCMP executed a search warrant at 47 Haliburton St on March 18, resulting in the arrest of numerous individuals and the seizure of drugs, money and weapons.

Links to news articles:

From the Nanaimo Daily News:

Hazards prompt fire chief to evict downtown tenants

Evicted tenants scramble to move :Fire department orders occupants to vacate dangerous illegal suites in downtown home

From the Nanaimo News Bulletin:

Tenants forced out of unsafe Nanaimo rental suites

Fencing

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Fencing Guys Not Impacted by Recession!

Once upon a time this whole part of Esplanade had shrubs and was a problem area that attracted litter and vagrancy.

This fence has been recently installed; going all the way from the harbour truck entrance at Crace and Esplanade around the corner at Front Street.

Dog inspecting new fence just before christening it (if you know what I mean!)

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Laneway Clean-up Started

A small, creative group of folks met a few weeks ago to talk about the problems in the lane between Nicol and Haliburton Streets (200 block.) Five property owners took up our invitation to meet with a few SECA Board members, our Bylaw officer, Bill Kiselbach, and Chris Sholberg and John Horn from the City Planning Department.

As happens so often here in the South End, the discussion dealt with a very tough issue with loads of cooperation, good sense, empathy, creativity, and even a measure of fun!  The group will begin forming a more detailed plan in the next few weeks, including both short- and long-term ways to deter drug-related activity in the lane.  Look for some aesthetic improvement very soon!

Thanks to John Cross for providing the meeting space!

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Monthly Mini-Litter pickup Saturday March 28

Well, the snow is gone and we can get back to work!  Let’s check out the new renovations at McDonald’s.  Meet for breakfast/coffee anytime after 8:45. We’ll fan out around 9:30 to clean up for an hour and then deposit our litter in McDonald’s bin.  Bring gloves and extra plastic grocery bags. By 10:30, you’re on your way, and will have done your bend-and-stretch exercises for the day!

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SECA meeting: Wednesday April 1 @ 7 PM

Princess Royal Family Centre, corner of Irwin and Farquhar

Planned Agenda:

We’ve started working on the laneway between Nicol and Haliburton, and will update on the initial meeting and the plans/feedback so far.  We’re planning a lane makeover party as a part of the process, so we’ll do some brainstorming around that.

Matt Hussman from the Downtown Nanaimo Partnership will give us an update of the safety survey results so far.  If you haven’t participated, there should be more copies at the meeting.

There’s been a lot of activity around the neighbourhood, if they are not run off their feet, we’re hoping that one our finest (RCMP) will attend.  March 27: Confimed Dave Laberge will be coming to check in.

You may have read or heard rumblings about VIHA budget cuts to the intially planned 24 hour support component at the Balmoral.  We’ve invited Christina Martens to discuss how CMHA is dealing with the news.

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APRIL 4th – “Voices from the Street”

Let’s take action in 2009 – Province-wide Stands lead up to provincial election

On April 4 2009, thousands of people throughout B.C. will march to demand that the government in Victoria build enough affordable rental housing to meet urgent B.C. needs. Together we can make affordable housing a key issue in the election.

Local Social Activists Gordon Fuller and Katie Durvin have been making the community aware, on a monthly basis through STANDS, of the need for HOMES For All since may of 2008.  With an upcoming Provincial Election the two are working to put together a Rally & STAND on April 4th.  Called “Voices From the Street” Gord and Katie are arranging to have a number of STREET PERSONS talk about their experiences.  They will also invite the candidates for the Nanaimo ridings to come out and have a say.  5 minutes per person and three questions to each by the audience.  Following the rally people will be invited to march down to the Highway with signs in support of HOMES FOR ALL where we will line the Street and STAND in an effort to create awareness about the need for housing.

The event, music & speakers, will be from 11:00 to 1:00 with the rallying point at Dianna Krall Plaza, on Commercial St. beside the downtown Library.

People are encouraged to bring signs ie: HOMES FOR ALL, HOUSE THE HOMELESS, AFFORDABLE MEANS AFFORDABLE TO ALL, POVERTY SUCKS, END LEGISLATED POVERTY etc., short catchy slogans regarding poverty and housing.

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Robbery Prevention” Workshop April 17

Friday, April 17, 2009: 10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Nanaimo Harbourfront Library, 90 Commercial St.

Cost:  FREE !

The CPSO is pleased to present three robbery prevention workshops featuring Gord Nixon and Cst. Wally Taylor. These workshops will educate people and businesses on what to do during a robbery, what to do after a robbery, and preventative measures to take to avoid becoming the victim of a robbery.

In addition, Cst. Taylor and Sharon Welch will introduce Nanaimo’s Retail C.O.P. (Cameras on Patrol) Program, available free of charge to all business owners, managers, and Loss Prevention Officers. The program allows access to a secured website with pictures and descriptions of previous offenders and other subjects of concern, and outstanding warrants.

Limited seating available. Please reserve your seats by calling Sharon Welch at the Community Policing & Services Office (250-753-3777).

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Lane Makeover Day Saturday April 25

Stemming from the work we’ve started to do in the infamous lane between Nicol and Haliburton, we’ve planned a community work party to get going on all the things on the “to-do” list.  They’ll be simple and easy.  And of course, in true SECA spirit, we’ll finish with a lane party with music and food.  We’ll begin planning at our meeting April 1 and will post details as they unfold.

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The Miners Heritage Picnic  June 20

Mark off June 20th on your calendar for our 17th “Picnic”.  Thanks to our generous corporate and individual donors, and we’ll be celebrating our 20th anniversary as an association.

Some of the highlights planned so far:

  • a free pancake breakfast, courtesy the Women of the Moose.
  • lots of musical entertainment, headlined by Shawn Phillips (sp?)
  • B.C. Hydro Power Smart Team will supply a large tent, under which a soccer like game will be played.
  • some very interesting activities courtesy the Nanaimo District Museum.
  • kids will look forward pony rides and petting farm.
  • the Guided Heritage Walk with focus on the tragedy at the Number 1 Mine and heritage houses. There will be related displays.
  • for kids of all ages, the enormous 25 ft. Inflated Slide and Castle Bouncer plus the El Paso Train Adventure.
    fun at the 2008 picnic

    fun at the 2008 picnic

    Don’t forget the Pet Parade, Silent Auction and the famous Reunion Strawberry Social for past and present Seniors of the South End.  And these are only the events confirmed so far!

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Want Ads

Are you a musician with a hankering to join a group? Bowen Entertainment Orchestra, the band that has played for many years during the pancake breakfast at the picnic are looking for new members, musicians, who can practice weekly at 1pm at Bowen complex and perform in weekly concerts.  Call Bettina Moss at 250 753 1856.

Looking for a 1-bedroom suite. Bill and his little pug Brandis, regular walkers in the neighbourhood are 2 of the residents who must move due to the fire code problem mentioned in this newsletter.  He’s looking for a 1 bedroom apartment, up to $600/month.  If you have a place, drop him a note at 45B  Haliburton or e-mail southendcommunityassociation@gmail.com and we’ll pass the word along.

The neighbourhood bookshelf at 152 Irwin Street is normally a beehive of activity, but right now, it’s so low that even books we thought would only be used to even out tippy chair and table legs have been taken.  Books, movies, magazines, if you have anything that passers-by can use, we’d appreciate them.  Thanks!

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