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Thursday, November 3, 2011

More updates on various issues

Nov 3
Get to know the 26 people running for seats on Nanaimo City Council
Interesting take on providing information about the candidates. You click the name of the person then get a bio and video link to the 5 questions asked.

They did however get my age wrong, I am actually 53.

Sisterhood contemplates sale of lakeshore grove

Great idea for a city purchase though if the Tennis Club is allowed to make their member only restaurant into a open restaurant club there will be no more tranquility.

City will force smokers to butt out in parks
This is one of those things where I think the City has gone too far. For one it is unenforceable unless of course the City proposes to hire quite a number of police. Most smokers are respectful of others and tend to smoke downwind or far enough away that the rising smoke does not go near others. If the city wanted to ban something around parks it should be vehicles as they cause far more harm than a few smokers.

Smoking as an addiction is extremely hard to quit but it is something most smokers contemplate doing.

Bus service aims to attract more patrons to downtown bars
Good idea. Not only will it bring them in it will also take them out. should see a bit iof a drop in the petty crime in the area and less garbage not to mention the potential to save lives.

Letter: Tax relief the start of headaches for taxpayers
An excellent letter regarding the tax break for hotels, especially related to the convention centre. How will these tax incentives be paid for? By you the Taxpayer, that’s how. Dumb move on the part of the current council; it will make it even harder to keep taxes down in the future.

Council votes down motion to freeze Uplands project.
Believe I commented enough on an earlier story from the Daily News. Good news and good on council.

Nov 2
Taxbreak proposed for hotel project
A lot of BS going on here. What is the current vacancy rate for hotels and motels in and around downtown? Is not giving them the property to build on enough of an incentive? How much will
the "apply to any development or re-development" end up costing

Hotel or no hotel the convention centre will always need to be subsidized. Has the license been changed yet from food primary to liquor primary? Instead of focusing on conventions lets get on with utilizing and encouraging its use for
other things.

Minimumwage hike draws mixed reaction from Nanaimo businesses and workers
It seemsthat every time the minimum wage is raised the same concerns are

By increasing the minimum wage it could help lift some out of abject poverty to just plain and simple poverty and the added benefit of the raise will mean that some have a bit more money to spend at city businesses.

What is also needed is to increase assistance rates and provide those on assistance with a bus pass so that they can look for work instead of spending all of their time just trying to survive.

Opinion: Raising minimum wage a balancing act
Not a bad column.

Bestwick says he's sorry if fellow councillors were offended by remarks on housing strategy

"dishonest at best and deceitful at worst." Not true.

I have stated often, and despite being in support of Supportive Housing and Nanaimo's action plan on homelessness, that the communication process has been flawed. This said it is flawed when it comes to most issues and that primarily because what communication is done is
to the bare minimum required.

When the Homeless Strategy was in development community was invited to get involved in
the process, very few chose to do so. It is the same with much else and it is only when something is believed to have a direct effect that citizens get up in arms. A direct result of the current
processes used by the City to inform the public.

A sad aspect of the whole housing thing is that a few people through fear and misinformation can galvanize so many. On a positive note the city can learn from it.

Information whether fact or fear can be gotten to the public relatively easily and doing so
well before the issue becomes an ISSUE is paramount

Nov 1
Proposed delay for low-barrier housing turfed by council
"I am not convinced there was any great flaw in the procedure and process and I certainly think we should carry through with the commitments we've made,"

Yes, it is about time that we moved forward as this will now allow us to work on the other aspects of housing proposed in the Homelessness Strategy. On the first part of Councillor Holdom's
comment I have to disagree.

The great flaw is exactly how the City communicates in order to get community involvement, not just on this issue but on all issues. Sadly a couple of notices in newspapers does not exactly encourage community participation in the Civic Planning.

Was there communication? Yes, but only to the minimum required. This has to change so that the City actually works to encourage community participation.

The blatant threat by the Concerned Citizens of Nanaimo to actively seek to have people not vote for candidates that support the issue of Housing the Homeless is sad to say the least. To not vote for someone simply because they disagree with you on one issue is of great concern.

Sitting on City Council is no easy process because at times it does require compromise. Voters need to look beyond a single issue and look at what those running have done in and for the
community. Take off the blinders, research the candidates, and when you vote make it an informed choice and not one out of anger.

Businesses take differing views on Occupy Nanaimo's impact
I think the predominant view is that the occupiers are working well towards maintaining
the site to the mutual benefit to all in the Downtown. Kudos to the businesses that are actually

Nov 1
City can't afford to save west Linley Valley
Certainly the City could afford to save some if not all of the property. How much will the 10 year Tax deferment the City just gave to Hotels that choose to renovate cost us? What about City Park reserve funds?

There are growing questions being asked about the New City Annex and other City expenditures such as borrowing $22 million for the proposed $65 million Water Treatment Plant.

When choosing to spend the taxpayer’s money better choices need to be made. Choosing to purchase all or the majority of land in Linely Valley would actually benefit the City, its people and the potential for tourism.

Let’s protect the assets we have instead of focusing on grandiose schemes destined for failure.


Oct 28
Lantzville aims to clarify urban farming issue
I think a lot of clarifying will be done by the vote in the upcoming election and if they really want to clarify they will reform the committee that worked on the bylaw, making it more balanced, and rewrite the bylaw so that it is less discriminatory. At a minimum the allowed usage per lot should be 60% though 75% would make them more viable.

Election candidates featured at meetings
Two interesting links to sites mentioned in this story, & . The first requests input for its All Candidates meeting the second will link through sustainable cities to the answers to questions posed to the candidates.

Oct 31
Editorial: Mixed message worth hearing
One of the best editorials I have seen dealing with the occupy movement.

Reality demands public participation
Many years ago I chose the red pill; sometimes wonder if it was the right choice? In reality I do
believe my choice, well over a decade ago, to get involved was right; I have much more fun than I ever did back in the days of choosing other options.

Oct 31
Lantzville Council delays implementation of cotroversial urban farming bylaw
Probably the best move they could have made. The bylaw as it stood was literally a piece of crap.

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