Archive for October, 2011

This months SECA meeting will be held Wednesday Nov 2 at 7:00 PM, Princess Royal School, corner Fahrquar and Irwin.

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Owner of motorcycle shop happy with progress at Balmoral property housing project

Alyson McAndrews, Daily News

Published: Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rick Murray is pleased with the recent progress at the former Balmoral Hotel.

He owns American Heritage Custom Cycles, a motorbike shop a few blocks away from the low-barrier housing facility.

In a letter to the Balmoral, he commends efforts made to improve the facility and surrounding area since the Canadian Mental Health Association took over management.

To read the rest of the article, click here.


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Our South End votes blog was launched in the 2008 municipal election, with the focus on asking candidates questions that matter to us as a neighbourhood.   So often in the past, the South End was overlooked by local politicians, partly due to the fact that there is little representation from anyone in our part of town on the city’s elected leadership team.  We received an amazing 4,000 page hits in the last election run-up.

This year, the torch has been passed to Ed Chan, who, as you read this is canvassing candidates to respond to these 3 questions:

1.    Should services and resources to the disadvantaged be spread throughout the city or concentrated in one part of the city?  What is your position regarding the Uplands Supportive Housing Project?

2.    The South End recently completed its Official Neighbourhood Plan.  How do you see Council’s role in supporting its implementation?

3.    How would you support our First Nations population in Nanaimo?

Ed will be assembling the answers and we will let you know when they are up on the blog.



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Members of the Secret Society of Fern Filchers successfully skulked about the neighbourhood last night, planting upwards of 300 bulbs.

These  photos show our ingenuity in lighting our nefarious activities by cell phone, and a group mug shot at the end of our foray.  (The tall guy in the back is wearing his invisibility cape.)

Thanks to everyone who came out to dig, thanks to the weather gods for keeping us dry, and thanks to all those who bought, gathered, and/or dropped off bulbs on my doorstep – you know who you are!
(No ferns were filched during these manoeuvres.)

Captain FF

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Downtown Trick or Treat & Halloween Pet Parade

Saturday, Oct. 29 from 12-3 pm

Downtown & Diana Krall Plaza

Get ready Nanaimo! More than 90 merchants are getting ready to host the ever-popular Downtown Trick or Treat extravaganza on Saturday, October 29 from Noon to 3 pm. Participating merchants will have orange and black balloons tied to their doors and will be located throughout downtown including the Commercial Street and Victoria Crescent areas, the Waterfront and Old City Quarter. Maps, free bags for trick or treaters and other information will be available at the DNBIA tent in Diana krall Plaza.


New this year is the Halloween Pet Parade where the public is invited to dress up their pets in outrageous costumes and bring them down to Diana Krall Plaza starting at 12:30 pm. The parade starts at 1 pm and prizes will be awarded for Best Pet/Owner Look-a-Like, Best Costume and for the winner of the hilarious Bobbing for Wieners Contest. Donations will also be accepted for the Nanaimo Chihuahua Rescue Society, and pet costumes can be purchased at Quintessential Accessories at #2 Commercial St., where owner Carla Samson will also donate partial proceeds to the society.
There will also be live entertainment this year including Iris, an eight year old female-fronted power house rock, reggae and funk band that harbours members from such bands as Wunderbread, 57 Monkey’s Audio Therapy and Doug and the Slugs. Band members are Jona Kristinsson, Tony Jenks, Brian Kehoe and Todd Michell. Also playing the Downtown Trick or Treat is the youth band, 10XBETTER, from the Nanaimo Youth Services` Tune In Program led by Kristinsson.

From 2-3 pm, trick or treaters can head into the Harbourfront Library to hear some scary stories, sing songs and do crafts…all perfect pastimes for the season of ghosts, goblins and ghouls.

This Halloween come Downtown for the best Trick or Treating this side of Transylvania! This event is brought to you by the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association. For more information, visit dnbia.ca or call 250-754-8141.

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I wanted to extend an invitation to you to help get the south end garden ready for winter. This coming Tuesday October 25th we are looking to assemble at the corner or Irwin and Needham at 3:30. There is some work to be done with the last of the harvesting and we also plan to build a compost bin. For those interested in being a part of the gardens for the 2012 growing year we will also discuss our next steps as a community garden.

Hope to see you there.


Andre Sullivan

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Former ‘Daily News’ reporter earns big honour from neighbours

Derek Spalding named ‘Friend of the South End’ in special ceremony on Friday

Alyson McAndrews, The Daily News

Published: Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Derek Spalding is not used to being in the spotlight. He’s much more comfortable being around it covering the issues and people it shines on, so being the topic of a column is not something he is probably all that thrilled about. Spalding was a reporter here at the Daily News until Thursday when he left to join the team at The Victoria Times Colonist. There’s little doubt he willed be missed here, and perhaps no more so than by the residents of the South End.

On Friday evening, he received the rare honour of being made a Friend of the South End for all the great work he did covering the community and, in the words of residents there, “helping people see the truth about the South End.” That it’s not all social problems and poverty.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

(BTW, the pic in the blog header above is Derek’s former home, decorated on his birthday by some dastardly sneaky neighbours.)

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Deverill Park and the Princess Royal Centre gym are now home to indoor fitness training, perhaps filling the hole left by the Fitness…oh geez…forgot the name already…anyway, the place that went broke on Nicol Street.

The business, named “Over the Hurdle”  offers this in their press release:

The philosophy and culture of the gym is a modern and holistic approach to fitness incorporating affordability, family, fitness and convenience into its programs. The Over the Hurdle brand name is a metaphor for the challenge everyone has in regards to achieving a balanced life of health, wellness and busy careers. Over the Hurdle Athletics has created an environment that caters to the busy lifestyle and offers unique programs, lifestyle classes and personal training that are all adaptable and affordable to fit you as a unique person. What separates Over the Hurdle Athletics from the competition is that they take a holistic approach to fitness where each person, their personality and their lifestyle are taken into account while working together to make sure that fitness goals are attained, one hurdle at a time.

Outdoor programs started in the park in September (and looked/sounded  like a lot of fun, IMHO).  Indoor programs have started at the gym.  And as an introductory offer, they are offering 25% off.  See the ad below for more details.

And welcome to the neighbourhood, Over the Hurdle folks!

More from their press release:

Over the Hurdle Athletics is the go to lifestyle choice for athletes, families, students, and professionals. When choosing a place to build on your body, mind and soul to be as strong and healthy as can be, choose Over the Hurdle Athletics Inc., you won’t be disappointed.

Success Story
Larry McNabb joined the Sunset Bootcamp at Over the Hurdle Athletics this September and after 4 weeks he has already seen incredible changes in his life. “I sleep better, I have more energy throughout the day, I feel stronger, and I just feel so much better all around. I highly recommend giving this a try, it has changed my life and it will change yours too,” says Larry.
If you want to try out a program at Over the Hurdle Athletics, give them a call at 250-591-8866. They offer a 2 week money back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose!

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Heritage Plaque and Sculpture – Margaret McDougall, a South End artist, discussed several possible projects for our neighborhood. One would be a mining cart as a planter or bench. Another would be to make plaques that could be placed on houses where miners used to live. These could be a simple symbol or could give some of the history of the house. Nanaimo has a great history and we should make more of it, as Chemainus does. SECA will provide Margaret with funding to come up with ideas. She will present some preliminaries at the next meeting.

Bulbs, bulbs, bulbs… It seems that some people in the neighborhood will be meeting on the corner of Irwin and Milton at 7PM on Oct 24. (Only a rumour, but looks like it is happening for sure) The idea is to plant flower bulbs around the neighborhood. Please bring shovels and wear dark clothes.

7-11 Update – The SECA delegation visited the new 7-11 and found the apartments above the shop to be very pleasant. The owners want to extend the number of suites from one to three. People living there will make the area safer. (Jane Jacob’s eyes on the street concept) The SECA delegation met the property owner, land use official and the property manager. Found them to understand the South End and to support our Neighborhood Plan. Also heard of the possibility of a row housing near by.

Feeling of SECA meeting was that the new 7-11 was attractive and the increase in the number of suites was acceptable. Very positive about the possibility of row housing.

Banners on Nichol Street – Chris reported on a discussion at the SECA executive meeting. A key immediate project for the neighborhood Plan would be street banners. Material for the banners could be purchased through the Nanaimo Art Gallery and Nanaimo Centre Stage has offered an area for painting and designing banners. City would then do the installation.

Some discussion ensued as to whether the City has the funding to do this. We will have to find out if they can do this within a reasonable amount of time before we actually make any banners. Chris will check out costs of banner making and ask City about the possibility of hanging them. Also discussed was possible fund raising for the banners and an extension of the present fence art.

CMHA (Balmoral) Katherine reported that Kevin Griffith will be coming in as CMHA Rep for SECA meetings. Balmoral is full and working out well. A suggestion was made that SE residents consider writing letters to the editor about our Balmoral experience as a counter to the fears and misinformation coming from the N. End.

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