Archive for January, 2011

The 2011 Banner Festival will be organized soon, and Charles Thirkill, the person behind the initiative to designate the Lotus Pinnatus has a creative request:  to paint a Lotus pinnatus banner.

Here is his request:

The Friends of Harewood Plains can pay for one entry to the banner competition
The winner has to actually paint the banner. We could offer a small incentive to cover the cost of travel to do the painting, say $20.00.
If a school gets involved, there could be a separate prize for the kid or the class, which could include $20.00, an interesting book and doughnuts for the class.
We would need to see the entries and pick one for submission to the City.

When the banner is taken down, he will buy it for the Friends of the Harewood Plains.

Anyone can enter their own painting, it isn’t an exclusive club.

If this idea interests you, please get in touch with Charles.

thirkill[at] telus.net

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At the last SECA meeting after publicly poking fun at our Neighbourhood Planner Chris Sholberg, we finally got seriously and honoured him with something to hang on the wall of his office.  It’s our own vision of the South End, once the plan is ultimately completed.  Check out the incredible detail!  Notice SECA has our own building!  Notice the vibrancy! (enthusiastic applause encouraged here….ooooh….ahhhh….)

Thanks to the talented leadership of Michaela Chan, with mucho support from Rebecca Chan, Sydney Robertson, Maggie Wouterloot and Nico Gregoire.

And bless you, Chris, for being our Knight in Shining Armour!  If you want to watch the video of Sir Chris of the Plan, click here or just keep scrolling back to the start of the month.

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Today we had a terrific shoot with Melissa from Shaw Cable, about the story of the creation of the South End Library. John and Harold did a bit of fixing, which got filmed, and we decided that the next version of the Library would be 3 stories high and include a snack bar (it was funny at the time….:)  We even caught a few passers-by on camera, should be a fun clip.

Here are a few pics.

We’ll let you know when it is slated to be aired.  Thanks Melissa, you are such a joy to work with.

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This from the intrepid Gord Fuller, who continually goes to bat for the South End in political matters.  He explains who/why you should care about this upcoming forum, and is advocating for one in the South End (which especially makes sense, given that we have a shiny new Neighbourhood Plan).

Thanks, Gord…come and pick up your badge of honour at the next SECA meeting  (and no, we won’t make you wear a colander on your head.)


As someone who lives and has lived in the South End for a number of years I have often been curious when it comes to the location of City run Public Open Houses around issues like the OCP Review, Parks Bylaw and most recently the Zoning Bylaw re-write.  I for one like to participate when possible towards the betterment of my community but I also want accessibility in doing so.  I am assuming many in the community are like minded.

Regarding the Zoning Bylaw rewrite I have been at a few things where it was discussed so was curious when it was announced at a PNAC (Plan Nanaimo Advisory Committee) meeting that there would be some open houses for the public to view the progress to date.  What got me even more curiouser, if that is even a word, were the locations of the open houses (see below). Once again there seemed to be a lack of any venue south of Third Street and while one might expect the Ice Centre to serve most of Harewood what about the South End, Chase River as well as other points south?  Why?

What follows is a result of my inquiry.

Question to:  Al Kenning- City Manager as well as cc’d to Mayor & Council.


Good day Al et al.  I was at the PNAC Meeting when the open houses were mentioned for the New Zoning Bylaw, also noticed on council agenda (below), and it struck me as curious as to why there was no scheduled open house in the South End Area of Nanaimo.  Is there some rational for this or is it just an oversight?  It strikes me that a considerable portion of Nanaimo’s population lives in the southern portions of the City and that an open house, say perhaps at the Chase River School, would benefit the area.


(a) New Zoning Bylaw – Public Open House Dates

Mayor Ruttan to announce the following New Zoning Bylaw Public Open

House Meetings:

• 2011-FEB-08 at the Nanaimo Ice Centre

• 2011-FEB-10 at the Beban Park Social Centre

• 2011-FEB-16 at the Dover Bay Secondary School (Multi-Purpose


All Open Houses will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Thanks for your consideration in this matter.




Hi Gord,

Andrew Tucker

Director of Planning

City of Nanaimo

My Reply

Thanks for the prompt reply Andrew.

Interesting, I never thought of the NIC or really even the Aquatic Centre as being in the south end.

Part of the problem is that many in the areas south of the Ice Centre are seniors as well as low income people who may not have computers and also be at the mercy of transit.  While the South End Neighbourhood association is fairly well attended and we do have an extensive e-mail list to get information out even this only accounts for a very small number of people in the area.  While I recognize it may be too late at this point in time, though late February could be an option, to schedule something for Chase River or even Bayview Schools I do hope that in the future this area will be better served towards accessing these types of events.



City Council Meeting: January 24, 2011


Likely because of my initial inquiry, when the locations were brought up at the council meeting it promoted discussion.  The result being that a location such as the Moose Hall, Chase River Firehall or some other venue in the area will be looked at to hold a Public Open House in February like the others.

What this shows is that sometimes one person can make a difference by asking questions of the right people, it never hurts to ask. It also helps that I showed up at the council meeting, they all know me, as a reminder to them.

Why should you care about the Zoning Re-write?


Really that is a subjective question in that if you rent it will have little or no impact but if you own property it likely will.  Will the impact be positive or negative? That will be for the land owner to decide.  It will also prove useful to developers to be able to locate potential projects in areas that would not require rezoning.  So if you are interested here are some links and if you are able I encourage you to attend a Public Open House to give feedback.


Proposed New Zoning Bylaw explanation and links to Draft Zoning By-law and Draft Zoning Land Use Map


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New SECA Board Member Chris LoScerbo has been working on a Purchasing Policy for SECA.  Many community organizations today are establishing such policies in order to support their local neighbourhoods, keep them healthy, do business ethically, and set an example for environmental stewardship that most people support.

Here’s her draft.  If you have comments, please click on this headline (above) and the post will open, you can leave a comment.

South End Neighbourhood Association – Purchasing Policy

SECA’s Purchasing Policy is intended to encourage the purchase and use of goods, products and services that directly support SECA’s commitment to our local community involvement, social equity, and environmental stewardship in all our activities, events, and beings. Together we will continue to make choices for the better of our community and world, while helping each other learn and adapt along the way.

Guiding Principles:

As a community group who values local resources, personal health, environmental responsibility and social change we choose to:

i.        Find existing goods, products and services from our neighbours for repurposing, sharing, and finding alternative suitable solutions

ii.      To purchase from local farmers, businesses, suppliers (respectively) who are more responsible in the way that their product or service is made, used, transported, stored, packaged and disposed of.

iii.    To purchase environmentally responsible products or services from well-ranking companies (for example, as detailed in the Better World Shopping Guide)

iv.    To purchase organic, fair trade, direct trade, fair wage and/or made in Canada goods and services

Definitions and Considerations:

Life Cycle Assessment:  The comprehensive examination of a product’s environmental impacts throughout its lifetime, including new material extraction, transportation, manufacturing, use, and disposal.

Environmentally Preferable Product:  A product that has a reduced negative effect or increased positive effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products that serve the same purpose.  This comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, fabrication, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, and disposal of the product.  This term includes, but is not limited to, recyclable products, recycled products, and reusable products.

Recyclable Product:  A product or package made from a material for which curbside or drop-off collection systems are in place for a majority of City residents or businesses, to divert from City solid waste for use as a raw material in the manufacture of another product or the reuse of the same product.

Reusable Product:  A product that can be used several times for an intended end use before being discarded, such as a washable food or beverage container or a refillable ballpoint pen.

As consumers, we make a statement every single day
by voting with our dollars.

For further information of specific products, brands and

The Better World Shopping Guide:

“The only comprehensive guide for socially and environmentally responsible consumers available, this book ranks every product on the shelf from A to F so you can quickly tell the “good guys” from the “bad guys” — turning your grocery list into a powerful tool to change the world. Representing over 15 years of distilled research, data is organized into the most common product categories including coffee, energy bars, computers, gasoline, clothing, banks, cars, water and more.

Also included is a summary of the essential information about particular product categories, profiles of the best and worst companies, practical buying tips and the most useful online resources available. Whether you believe in environmental sustainability, human rights, animal protection, community involvement or social justice… The Better World Shopping Guide will help you change the world as you shop!”

http://betterworld shopper.com

The 20 Best Companies from the Better World Shopping Guide 2011 – Ellis Jones

Southend and downtown Nanaimo offer some wonderful examples of local driver food and good suppliers. For all purchases we contact the following stores first where applicable:

  • Bowen Road Farmers Market
    Season runs May through October, every Wednesday 4-6:30pm.
    Located on the Vancouver Island Exhibition grounds, behind Beban Park Rec Center, 2300 Bowen Road
    Contact: bowenfarmersmarket@gmail.com
  • The Green Store – Discount Organics
    Open Mon-Sat 9:30am-5:30pm; Sun 11am-5pm
    256 Wallace Street
    (250) 754-2554
  • The Old City Organics Market
    411 Fitzwilliam St
  • R-U Computing
    Open Mon-Sat 10am-5:30pm
    549 Haliburton Street
    (250) 716-5725

This list is intended to be updated and completed for the most appropriate and responsible local businesses we want to support.

Policy created January, 2011

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Tough first year ahead for cruise ship terminal

By Chris Hamlyn – Nanaimo News Bulletin

Published: January 23, 2011 6:00 AM

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Ok, so that’s a b-i-t of a stretch, but last week’s Harbour City News featured a terrific story about what happens when a whole community bands together to help.  Thanks to Bill Robinson for a great story.


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