Archive for October, 2010

The Salmon are Returning…

We have gotten a report that the salmon have returned to the Chase River and are swimming up it. They are Chum salmon and can be seen if you walk down to the end of the board walk. Check them out!


At City Council meeting on Monday, October 4, 2 local properties in the same block were ordered to clean up their messes:

108 Haliburton, an empty lot slated to redevelopment, overgrown with weeds entangled with litter, Slated soon to be “moonscaped.”

147 Haliburton, near Milton Street, with a back yard full of piles of assorted waste.  Currently in the process of clean-up.

An interesting fact: the city’s jurisdiction does not cover pure overgrowth, as annoying as it may seem to you.  But overgrowth can  attract squatters and the garbage and waste they leave behind can get tangled in the overgrowth, creating an unsightly situation.  The city can then contact the owner, and a clean-up of the debris usually entails a complete clearance of the property.

Also, at the Oct. 4 Council meeting, an application related to the rebuilding of the burned house at 990 Milton (corner of Irwin has been made).  There was some discussion about the size of the house (postage stamp sized lot).  Council approved the initial plans.  Demolition happening shortly.

Omni Foods Gets Planting

Check out the new landscaping job Omni Foods is in the process of adding in front of their Fry St. operation.  Looks great!

From the RCMP

The Value Lodge on Nicol St has greatly improved over the past few months, calls for service have decreased substantially, but is still holding its designation as a nuisance property.

The nuisance designation has been removed from 217 Irwin Street, since there have been no complaints received over the past year.

The Trees, The Trees

Our wonderful Japanese cherry trees planted along Haliburton street this spring made it through a very dry summer.  Now, the next step is winter.  City Arborist Alan Kemp has offered some wise advice:  “if snow comes this winter, please be careful about piling it around the base of the tree.  It’s not the snow that is as damaging as the salt that can be mixed in with it from streets and sidewalks.”

In the meantime, look for city staff in orange vests over the next month, checking the trees for structural pruning.

Building Developments

Both Robins Gardens and 13 Haliburton projects are still underway, but navigating big paperwork phases.

City council approved signage that will be erected at 9 Nicol Street, the edge of the Port Place Mall property.  It will look similar to many city developments, with information and pictures about the planned redevelopment on the property.

The development permit at 119 Haliburton has run out, but owners have applied for a reissuance.

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Next SECA Meeting

Our regular monthly meeting will be Wednesday November 3 @ 7 PM at the Princess Royal Centre, corner of Farquhar and Irwin.

Annual General Meeting coming up in December

A Christmas chance to meet all our SECA buddies. The Annual General Meeting will be Wednesday December 1 at 6.00 PM We all bring pot luck finger food and keep the business part short – review of past year and election of Directors.

Any member wishing to join the Board of Directors please get in touch with Douglas  or Gord.

October SECA Meeting with Coastland

The October SECA meeting was very informative; Jack Stephens, CEO Hans De Visser CEO, and Mill Manager John Hesketh of Coastland Wood Industries gave presentations and answered questions.

History: We found out that Coastland  started in 1988. At that time, veneer mills used large logs. Coastland pioneered the use of small trees, something of special importance due to the disappearance of the old growth. They are the North American leader in this technology, have 120 workers, and the plant functions 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. The veneer is used in the manufacture of plywood and other new wood products, (laminated veneer lumber) some of which are stronger than steel.

The Present: Coastland has to turn increasingly to smaller logs as the Japanese are buying up the large and better quality raw logs, but the company continues to develop the new technology necessary to keep up. Although the market for wood products is down, Coastland is going to hang in and continue finding new ways of producing and marketing veneer.

Hog Fuel Burning: Jack Stephens spoke at some length about the hog fuel burning system at the mill. The fuel is used to heat the water into which the logs are placed to soften in order to slice off the veneer with a specially built lathe. Prior to the use of hog fuel, natural gas was burned for this purpose, but this was increasingly expensive. The new burner uses the bark from the mill logs.

A precipitator was also installed to keep down particle emissions. The national standard for such emissions is 120 parts per million, Coastland is aiming for 20 ppm. At the end of the first year the count was reduced to 21.2 ppm, much lower than permitted standards. CO2 emissions are also very low.

One major problem was burning bark from trees that had been in salt water. This bark caused many difficulties with the burner, and as someone from SECA pointed out, also has carcinogenic emissions. The mill does not use salt-soaked bark, only fresh bark, and when they do not have enough, buy and truck in it from elsewhere.

Caring for the Estuary: The Ministry of the Environment requires that Coastland dredge the area in front of their mill from time to time to eliminate any residue and keep the bay from filling in.

Odours: The smell that sometimes seems to be coming from the mill was also discussed. There should be no sulfur smell coming from the mill, since the processing does not involve chemicals. There is only a wood smell when the logs are heated in vats. Possible sources for the rotten eggs smell might include:

  1. Harmac
  2. Duke Point fish fertilizer plant
  3. low tide on mud flats.

Jack said to call him if there is a persistent smell and he will check the mill to see if it is the source of the problem.

Noise & Trucking Issues: Several SECA members brought up the trucking problem. One is the noise from trucks being underpowered and gearing up. Another problem is the chip haulers not completely covering their loads with tarps. (Although it was also mentioned that the spillage is a lot less than it used to be.) Coastland said they would look into the tarp problem. The screaming noise is due to the steel conveyor system, which is rapidly being replaced with rubber rollers. This should solve this problem.

The future: A new building is also being constructed on site. Some trees will come down along the Haliburton tree screen, but they will be replaced. It is unlikely that this building will change the view very much.

Thank you all for taking time out to talk to us. And for taking  a collaborative role in our neighbourhood.

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What’s this??  Why it’s Art Bins moseying over and setting up camp around Victoria Road!

(For mood music as you are reading, click here.)

This brave trio (a.k.a  “The Rawhide Bins”) has dared to cross the sometimes treacherous territory of Nicol Street,  and has taken up sentry close to each other, ever alert to the neighbourhood enemy…litter.

Keep movin’, movin’, movin’
Though they’re disapprovin’
Keep that litter movin’
Don’t try to understand ’em
Just rope, throw, and brand ’em
Soon we’ll be living high and wide.

Brightening up the lane between Victoria Road and View Street, this big-hearted bin is the work of one of our most accomplished South End artists.

And in the 500 block of Victoria with the big eyeball watching for  wafting candy wrappers and those dreaded plastic newspaper straps…!

And rounding out the trio, at the 5 way corner, an enterprising homeowner (we’d like to meet) has taken the initiative to paint his/her very own bin.  Yay!  Yay!

Move ’em on, head ’em up
Head ’em up, move ’em on
Move ’em on, head ’em up
Count ’em out, ride ’em in,
Ride ’em in, count ’em out,
Count ’em out, ride ’em in


You may have noticed that Art Bins are pretty good at herding and moving litter along…:)  If you would like to invite one onto your property to help clean things up,  contact us at:

southendcommunityassociation  [at]  gmail.com

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Hello everyone, please note that after a summer of fine tuning, the South End Neighbourhood Plan was formally introduced to City Council on Monday, Oct. 4 for First and Second Readings as an amendment to the Official Community Plan.  A copy of the neighbourhood plan as introduced to Council (and associated Council Report) is now posted on the neighbourhood planning section of the City web site and can be accessed at:


The next step in the process is the formal Public Hearing scheduled for Thursday, November 4, 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

You can see a notice of that Hearing posted here

You can find a glossary of terms i.e. corridor, neighbourhood, light industrial at the back of the Neighbourhood Plan.

Please contact Chris Sholberg at 250-755-4472 if you have any questions regarding the above information or the neighbourhood plan.

Thank you,

Chris Sholberg

Community Planner

Community Planning Section

City of Nanaimo

Editor’s Note:  I talked to Chris about the Nov 4 meeting; this is more of a technical meeting.  If you do wish to make a specific comment on the plan before Council, please attends; submissions may also be made in writing.

After this public hearing, it is anticipated that the plan will be returned to Council for final reading and adoption in mid to late November.

Thanks to the City:  Our Chair Douglas Hardie made a great presentation at the Oct. 4 council meeting.  If you would like to watch it, click here.  Some heartwarming comments received, and many thanks given.  Move the timer bar at the bottom of the video across to the 1:01 mark.  Or click on the 7:58 subheader and listen a few minutes until it begins.

The Brechin/Newcastle Neighbourhood Plan is still in process.   Their upcoming Open House  is November 3, 2010, 4:30pm – 8:30pm at École Océane, 1951 Estevan Road.

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The seduction of the new Nanaimo

Kerry Gold, The Globe and Mail, Published Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010

Low-barrier housing can work in any community

Douglas Hardie, The Daily News. Published: Monday, October 25, 2010

South end plan primed to be included in OCP

By Toby Gorman – Nanaimo News Bulletin. Published: October 07, 2010 5:00 PM

City council finally adopts plan to spruce up Nanaimo’s south end

City approves neighbourhood plan that calls for increased density, historical character

Derek Spalding, Daily News.Published: Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Richmond to Nanaimo Harbour in 15 minutes

By Caralyn Campbell, Vancouver Sun October 2, 2010

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Have you any leaves that you want to leave your property?

A couple of lasagna gardeners would love them for compost.  Call Barbara @ 740 0123 .

Interested in Car Sharing?

You may know that Cooperative Auto Network (CAN) has maintained shared cars in Nanaimo for over a decade. But CAN is soon ending its Nanaimo operation. So local CAN members and others interested in carsharing have formed a new cooperative association to keep carsharing in Nanaimo.

For more information click Nanaimo CarShare–The Basics


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VIU’s Fifth Annual Urban Issues Film Festival

Monday, November 8th, 2010 @ 3:30 pm

Featuring Mr. Jim Green

When you think of the term “urban revitalization” to describe a movement, a process, or an initiative in an urban setting, in an effort to transform it from “placeless” to something more community-oriented, sustainable, efficient, and energized, where does Nanaimo fit in? Do you think Nanaimo has enough examples of urban revitalization, or is it in serious need of a boost? And how can we do it?

These are the questions we hope to ask of community members and other interested attendees at VIU’s Fifth Annual Urban Issues Film Festival taking place Monday, November 8th, from 3:30 pm – 10pm. The theme for this year’s festival is indeed “urban revitalization”, and the festival lineup will consist of both short and full-length films focusing on various initiatives happening around the globe, as well as a presentation by our keynote speaker, Jim Green. Mr. Green’s presentation, and the film lineup, will make room for group discussions (as well as a few snacks!) in an effort to get feedback and share ideas among the participants.

As mentioned, we are lucky enough to have Mr. Jim Green speak about his history as a former community and housing advocate in the Downtown Eastside, University lecturer, and City Councillor from 2002 to 2005. Mr. Green has also helped lead many significant projects, including the re-development of the Woodward’s Building, the renewal of the VanEast Cultural Centre, and the creation of the Four Corners Bank. While a member of council, Mr. Green served on the Board of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, co-chaired the Creative City Task Force for the City of Vancouver, and was a member of a subcommittee of the Vancouver Olympic Bid Committee dealing with inner-city commitments.

The films for this year will focus on local and international initiatives in sustainable urban development, community, housing and revitalization, such as “Farewell Oak Street”, a film about the very first social housing development  built in Canada in the early 1950s; “Woodward’s: The Competition“, a 2005 film about the $150-million Vancouver Downtown East Side bid to redevelop the Woodward’s Department Store property; and “Cycling Copenhagen: Through North American Eyes”, an uplifting 12 minute film about Copenhagen’s awesome urban cycling scene and how much it differs from ours (mostly in awesomeness).

If you are concerned about Nanaimo’s ability now, and in the future, to feel like a community you want to be a part of, please come and share your ideas, and hopefully learn about those of others who want the same thing.

Please note that PIZZA AND POPCORN will be served, but you must register for this FREE event! (e-mail event contact below to register). Please let us know if you are bringing a guest (see below). Hope to see you there!

WHEN:     Monday, November 8th, 2010
3:30 pm – Jim Green, Bldg 355/Rm 203
5:00 pm – 10 pm Film Fest/Discussion, Bldg 356/Rm 109

WHERE:    Vancouver Island University (VIU)

The Urban Issues Film Festival is coordinated by the Vancouver Island University Geography Department, as well as other supporting organizations, such as the Planning Institute of BC (North Island Chapter), the VIU Sociology Department, Solutions: A Sustainability Network student club, the Geographic Students Union, and the New City Institute. Please contact Brianna at teggie.v [at] gmail.com (registration) or Don at don.alexander  [at]  viu.ca (information).


3:30- introduction to Jim Green by Anne Leavitt (to be confirmed )

3:35- talk by Jim Green

4:15 or so- Q & A and moderated discussion by Pam and Don

5:15 or so- move to Building 356, Room 109 for start of film showings and general introduction- Brianna

and Ryan R.


5:30- Farewell Oak Street (16 minutes)- intro and facilitation of discussion by Don

6:00- break for dinner (pizza, beverages and popcorn)

6:45- Woodward’s: The Competition (45 minutes)- intro and facilitation of discussion by Pam

7:30- Convenient Truth: Urban Solutions from Curitiba, Brazil (52 minutes)- intro and facilitation by Chris S. and Deborah J.

8:45- Urban Agriculture: East New York Land Transfers (approx. 10 minutes)- intro and facilitation by Brianna

9:15- Cycling Copenhagen: Through North American Eyes (11 minutes) and Livable Portland (5 minutes)- intro and facilitation by Chris L.

9:45- wrap-up and thanks- Kylie and Don



Home Town Screening of  Clean Bin Project @ VIU Nov 15

The award-winning Clean Bin Project movie will be screened at Vancouver Island University Theatre on Monday, November 15th at 7 p.m. followed by a Q. & A. period by the film-makers and a VIU hosted reception.

This environmental movie presentation is being sponsored by the Vancouver Island University Environmental Department and the Regional District Recycling Dept.  Jen and Grant have recently completed an across-Canada bike/movie tour.
Tickets are $10 ($5 for students) and may be purchased on-line at http://www.stubmatic.com/cleanbinproject/event/6086 Depending on ticket sales, there may be some tickets available at the door.

One of the many comments on Facebook:

“This truly is a wonderful movie, very inspiring and presented with humour.  As Jen and Grant cycled across Canada this summer (Vancouver to Saint John’s), showing it in many locations for one night, people said afterwards they wish they had invited more friends or more people had known about it.  So, don’t miss this chance to hear their amazing story, and be encouraged in our efforts to reduce consumption and waste.  For more information and movie preview, please check


Jen and Grant have appeared on CBC TV, CBC Radio, CKNW and have been featured in numerous newspapers.


Jakob Matzen, Urban Planner and Architect for the City of Copenhagen will be coming to VIU to speak on November 16.

Jakob Matzen is an urban planner and architect currently employed with the City of Copenhagen in the Centre for Urban Design. His work focuses on local planning for three Copenhagen neighborhoods; Vesterbro, Ørestad and Valby. Jakob is also involved in the development of sustainability principles for the city and setting the standards for a new hydrocarbon-neutral neighborhood. Jakob is coming to VIU to share some stories from afar and draw correlations between Copenhagen and Canada – all are welcome to attend!

Tues, Nov, 16  Building 250 – Room 125 @ 3 PM

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