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Posts Tagged ‘Balmoral’

Daily News

Published: Monday, April 16, 2012

A 45-year-old Nanaimo man is in police custody after a knife fight at the old Balmoral Hotel on Friday night.

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UPDATED FEB 27, 2011

When I read Fred Taylor’s comment in the Daily News earlier on this week (48 nuisance calls to the Newport in the past 2 years, 50 calls to the Balmoral in the past year), an alarm bell went off for me.  Anyone who lives in the vicinity of the Balmoral and the Newport Hotels knows that the difference between the 2 low-barrier operations is like night and day.  Still the numbers were curious.

So I got on the phone  and placed 3 calls:

  1. Randy Churchill, Manager of By-laws
  2. Dave LaBerge, from the RCMP
  3. Kevan Griffith, supervisor at the Balmoral.

Here’s how it goes…..

Nuisance calls as recorded by the city/RCMP have a clear set of criteria. In most cases, one thinks of a nuisance call as being one that is directed at a property by the neighbours.  And that is what a majority of the calls to the Newport would seem to be.  Apparently there have been many more calls there in the past 2 years, but not all of a nuisance nature.   This number can be confirmed by at least 4 neighbours who have made the majority of calls to the city and police, and will attest to making far more than 48 calls.

In the case of the Newport, as with the Value Lodge and King Arthur’s Court in the past, the nuisance designation was meant to protect the residents.  Where there is an uncontrolled culture, and there is the threat of harm, or of someone ultimately being killed through illicit activities, it is the process of last resort, because it can mean that tenants end up on the street, which is the last thing that most people want.

The Newport was deemed to be a nuisance property 2 months ago, but they were given a reprieve, based on a full “laundry list” that the landlord was given after a 1/2 day on-site meeting.  While some of the list items were fulfilled by deadline, others weren’t.  So the Nuisance Designationwas no surprise to the landlord and the property owner.

Have there been calls since the designation?  Yes, there have been.  There were actually 3 calls the day the initial reporter went in to cover the story.  And we know the sad story of the woman who overdosed in one of the rooms, may she rest in peace.

Now, despite Mr Taylor’s wording,  the Balmoral is NOT a nuisance property.   But it still had 50 calls in the past year…huhhh??

Remember that the Bal is not just a residence, but has Social Services for the public on the main floor.

First, let’s turn this around and suggest that a call can also originate from within the building. This is the case with the Bal, who have made the majority of the calls.  The last call to the RCMP was to remove a non-resident who was drinking in front of the building.  Recent calls have included break-in/theft, or various crimes, the types of calls similar to what happens in a neighbourhood.

Many of the legitimate calls originate from the social services offices, who serve a large number of clients who are NOT building residents.  The RCMP is a community partner in the Balmoral, so there are regular updates and alerts.  Manager Kevan Griffiths offered this:  “if you see the police there, it’s likely because we have invited them.” 

Have there been complaints against the Balmoral by neighbours?   It would appear, from an initial off-the cuff calculation (hey don’t pin any of this on the folks I interviewed, this is just MY rough guestimation)  that  1/3 to 1/2 of the calls have come from a single person.  (And if you live here, you know who that person is.)

So if you deduct the single caller, you are looking at perhaps 25 to 35 calls, mostly directed at users of social services or visitors to the building, not residents.   I didn’t get a scoop on the numbers of visitors to the building and its services, so I have nothing to compare it to.  Are 2 to 3 calls monthly a lot?  How many calls did the the former Living Room on Nicol Street used to get?   The downtown bars?  Is there anything you can even compare it to????  Comments, please?

But the one thing you can’t compare the Balmoral to is the Newport.  So this at least moves the newspaper comments from  “apples to oranges” to “apples to apples”. so to speak.

Barbara

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Nature of complaints helps police determine ‘nuisance’ designation

Walter Cordery, Daily News

Published: Friday, February 24, 2012

Not all properties that prompt “nuisance calls” to the RCMP are treated equally, according to a police spokesman.

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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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The Beer and Burger Fundraiser was a great success. Sixty six people attended and $2000 was raised. Thanks again to RU Computing for donating the computers for the raffle. Thanks also to Alice’s Restaurant and to all the volunteers.

Congratulations to all the winners:

The lap top: Stephano Monpetit

The computer: Anthony Jeffs

The Spa Day at Sandra’s Head to Toe Salon: Ronan McShane

The Number One Mine Heritage Kiosk. For those of you who don’t know this kiosk at the foot of Milton St. and Esplanade is the site of the former Number One Mine where one of the greatest mining disasters occurred in 1887. Charles Torhjelm was instrumental in getting this monument placed in 1999 but it had gotten a bit shabby over the years. A new roof has been put on and the kiosk refurbished.

There will be a celebration on May 7 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM to mark this event and remember the miners. More details coming as they unfold.

The Balmoral. Anne Hodge introduced herself to SECA as the new Director. Welcome aboard Anne! She has years of experience in social services in Ottawa and stressed the need for community feedback to the project. She told us that there were several new residents and that they were hoping to get a grant or funding to build a new entry way, replace carpets and create a storage area. They are also hoping to get two evening support workers so the Balmoral will have someone in attendance 24/7. There has been an additional grant for the successful Peppermill meals project and the Wesley Street low barrier housing project is now underway.

Tea Wagon, There was a pot luck on March 29 and on Saturday April 9, starting 10AM at the Irwin St, cul de sac, there will be a sanding party. Bring your sanders or sand blocks! At the end of the month there will be a Tea Wagon paining party which will be filmed.

The Miners Heritage Picnic will be Saturday June 25. All the rides, music and acts are on-board for this year. Volunteers wanted for the great event.

Social Media. Charles suggested the possibility of having a seminar on the use of social media. We decided that July might be a good time for this.

Zoning By-law. Gord spent quite a lot of time studying the zoning regulations and reported to us on the changes occurring. We are pleased to find that the changes are very close to the Neighborhood Plan. The new consolidated zoning is much less complicated and far more user-friendly than the old system. For links to the current zoning, the Neighborhood Plan and the new consolidated zoning see:

Zoning Links & Maps

Current Zoning Bylaw

Draft Revised Bylaw

Current Zoning Map

Draft Zoning Map

Nanaimo Map

= Launch Map

* Accept

* Using Tools on right, zoom in and find property

* Left click on property

* Right Click and when box appears click on property report for   information including zoning

Video Links to Council 7-11 Decision

Feb 28th 2011 – Click on 9:01pm

Recommendation to Staff Business License Amendment 9:01pm

March 14th 201 – Click on 10:43pm

Business License Bylaw turned down by council 10:43pm

 

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This is the replacement for Christina Martens, who many residents remember as the leader of the Balmoral team, amongst her other responsibilities.

The Mid Island Canadian Mental Health Association has announced the appointment of their new Executive Director Ms Anne Hodge.

Ms Hodge joins the Mid-Island Canadian Mental Health Association with a 20-year background in human services and non–profit administration.

For the last nine years, she has served as executive director of Maison d’amitié, an emergency shelter for abused women and their children and last year as the executive director of the National Capital Military Family Resource Centre.  Her career has been dedicated to promoting healthy communities, to creating programmes and services that promote the health, well being, and safety of all, and advocating for policies to promote social change.

 

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