What’s Missing from this Picture?
If you guessed the problematic stairs at Deverill Park, you’re 100% correct. Plus, the newly extended fence will allow the “At Play” paintings to grow around the perimeter of the park.
According to Kirsty MacDonald of the Parks & Rec Dept: “Parks is looking forward to finishing the playground improvements for summer use including installing a new spray park, paving a tricycle path around the play area and improving the site furnishings.”
Arlene On You Tube
You might have guessed that also missing from the picture is Arlene, our red-jacketed regular from the corner of Milton and Haliburton. She’s featured in a video on You Tube titled “Gutsy Mama”.
No word yet on whether she’s been asked to used her pad of paper to sign autographs!
New By-law Enforcement Officer Bill Kiselbach
Most of Nanaimo’s by-law enforcement officers work all over the city, but there are a few areas where a dedicated officer is located. One of those areas stretches from Comox Avenue in the north to Milton Street in the south, and includes downtown, Nob Hill, and parts of the South End and old City Quarter. Bill Kiselbach took over the position of “downtown bylaw officer” earlier this month and works out of the Community Policing and Service Office located at 18 Victoria Crescent.
Bill’s job is to ensure that Nanaimo’s by-laws are abided by: that buildings, residences, and public areas are safe and being used and maintained in the way they were intended. He patrols public areas. He assists property owners who request help for the removal of squatters from their property. He assists the police and other agencies during investigations of nuisance properties and grow ops.
Then there are the more complicated situations where by-Laws and city departments work in tandem. For example, Bill works with the Engineering and Building Departments around new building construction, and he deals with illegal suites and houses that may be deemed unsafe.
I asked Bill to list the top issues he’s been dealing with over the past month. He said:
“Every day is SO different! But what I see most right now are issues involving property maintenance, such as garbage all over yards. The other one is squatters – people on city or private property that have no legal right to be there. I try to spend about 1.5 hours daily in the downtown parks and parkades, being the eyes and ears for the police. If I see something illegal, I’ll call them.”
So, Bill, when people have a specific problem in their neighbourhood, who should they call…the city department or by-laws? Either is fine, according to Bill. The downtown Community Policing and Service Office intends to make things easier for downtowners and south enders to report problems that may be straddling both city by-laws and the law. If you aren’t sure who you should be calling, the Community Policing and Service Office will channel your call through to the right place. You can reach the Community Policing and Service office at (250) 753-3777 between the hours of 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday.
Bill, we know that if nothing else, you’ll NEVER have a dull moment working in the South End! May EVERY day continue to be different!
Speaking of Community Policing, the new Director of the Downtown Nanaimo Partnership, Matt Hussman, attended the February SECA meeting. He moved here a little over a month ago from Washington DC, and is trying to get a handle on the most critical issues in the downtown area. One of the biggies is safety.
To that end, they they would like to hear from people who are living/working in/around the downtown area, or people who walk to downtown on a regular basis. They’ve created a survey; we’ll bring some hard copies to the next SECA meeting. Or you can e-mail Sharon Welch and she will send you one: Sharon.Welch@nanaimo.ca
Are you a Green-thumbed Organizer?
Tucked away in a sunny corner beside the Princess Royal family centre is a little patch of heaven…well admittedly there are one or two weeds…ok, quite a lot of weeds actually…but the point is we have an uncultivated treasure, an oasis of hope, a symbol of renewal, crying out for a firm hand on the plough!
A brief history:
- the garden has been around for many years and was originally cultivated by John McKay and other teachers at the school.
- It was briefly an exercise yard for Maggies’ goats, who demolished all available greenery but were a big hit with the kids.
- Eileen Bennewith, community nutritionist, took up the mantle when VIHA took over the school and did a power of work to get it going and incorporate it into the community kitchens program.
- Various SECA members have chipped in and helped out, Signey Parkin in particular, but what has been lacking is one or a few local residents to really take the project on.
The purpose of a community garden is to provide local residents who perhaps have no access to a garden with an opportunity to share in the production and harvest of fresh organic produce at a fraction of the cost. The Princess Royal Family Centre lease the garden and make it available to local neighborhood residents to develop as a community resource.
We have a possible benefactor in the generous form of Helen Phelps who owns a shop called “Dream With Me” downtown on Commercial. She has offered to fund the purchase of various plants and seeds and SECA has funds available also. If you’re interested or would like more information, please come along to our next SECA meeting at 7pm on March 4th at Princess Royal.
Missing….one of the neighbourhoods more colourful characters! We don’t think that she would leave the South End on her own and without a fight. We say that because she has no arms, legs or feet..:) We’re talking, of course, about one of our Art Bins, which if you’ve been paying attention, are starting to pop up all over the place. Except one of them seems to have been bin-napped from Sandra’s Head-to-Toe Salon.
We won’t show the photo of it here, because it might simply have been an error in judgment, someone thinking that the bins are there for the taking, and we don’t want to embarrass you.
So let’s take a moment and tell you HOW the Trashy Art Bin project works. While many of the original bins were generously funded and created by residents, not everyone is in a position to buy their own garbage can. So with some much-appreciated support from the City of Nanaimo, and some generous donations of paint and time, we’ve (SECA) moved to buying bins for people to
FOSTER. That means we own it, and you look after it. We provide you with a chain so it doesn’t wander off. If you and the bin don’t hit it off, we’ll find another home for it.
So far, all the bins that are painted (including these) are either hanging out around the South End or getting ready to go to their new foster homes. But stay tuned…we hope to have a few more colourful personalities ready for the NEXT newsletter!
And if you WOULD like to foster a bin, call Sandra at 753-1394 to get more information.
Fresh off the press, from the Feb 27 Nanaimo Daily News. Click here.