Friday, December 31, 2010

Seaweed at South Chesterman's Dec 31 2010


Number Ten story of the year



The Olympic Party

story nine of the year

Still no sewage treatment.still no connection with Esowista and the park.

Story eight of the year

The war on Vacation Rentals ended without a shot being fired.

Story seven of the year

Electric Truck

Number six story of the year

The departure of Don Mckinnon

Number Five story of the year

Council continued to squander more money on the Social Subsidized Housing Program.Please stop.

Number Four Story of the year

We didn't run out of water.thanks for that

Number Three Story of the year

The departure of Bob Long

Number Two story of 2010

Cox Bay Rock Walls....whether you like the walls or not three resorts proved that you can do whatever you want here and council will do absolutely nothing........Actually Poole has been proving that for years....

Number One story of 2010



I still don't know who made this sign but it certainly stimulated a lot of discussion in the town...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

slow news days Dec.30,2010

I saw a bear the other day and I heard that someone anonymous found a glass ball in a secret spot.....What are those huge sign things out the highway ? I'll start working on a Top Ten of 2010 list.....suggestions ?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Developers give up ? December 24,2010

A new "For Sale" sign at the corner of Olsen Rd. and Campbell St. seems to indicate that developers have given up on the proposed project at the former Rae-Arthur property....there used to be a nice little gas station there.....
It seems there was a problem with the OCP designation of the property ??? write in if you have any info please.....thanks and Merry Christmas to all.....Ralph

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Council renumeration and expense bylaw

CORPORATION OF THE DISTRICT OF TOFINO
COUNCIL REMUNERATION AND EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT BYLAW NO. 1077, 2008
CONSOLIDATED FOR CONVENIENCE ONLY AS OF MAY 14, 2010
Up to Bylaw No. 1120, 2010
DISTRICT OF TOFINO
COUNCIL REMUNERATION & EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT BY-LAW BYLAW NO. 1077, 2008
WHEREAS the Council is empowered to remunerate Council members for the discharge of the duties of office.
NOW THEREFORE the Council of the District of Tofino, in the Province of British Columbia, in an open meeting assembled Hereby Enacts as Follows:
1. This bylaw may be known and cited for all purposes as District of Tofino Council Remuneration & Expense Reimbursement Bylaw No. 1077, 2008.
2. Effective January 1, 2010, an annual indemnity shall be paid out of general revenue as follows:
i) Mayor $19,000.00
ii) Councillor $ 11,000.00
3. The annual indemnity shall be paid on a bi-weekly basis.
4. The annual indemnity shall increase on an annual basis commencing with the first full pay period in March using the previous year’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate for British Columbia as determined by Statistics Canada.
5. One third (1/3) of the annual indemnity amount shall be considered to be for expenses in the performance of their office.
6. The Mayor and Councillors shall be reimbursed for all reasonable travelling expenses incurred by them in the course of attending authorized meetings, conventions, seminars and for otherwise attending to the authorized business of the District of Tofino.
7. Overnight accommodation, transportation (other than use of personal vehicles) including ferry, taxi and air fares, parking, and registration fees for conventions and seminars shall be reimbursed at 100% of cost.
8. Reimbursement (mileage) for use of personal vehicles shall be set by policy.
9. Reimbursement of meals for out of town business shall be set by policy.
10. Meetings on Council business and all Council directed meetings, Committee meetings or other meetings will pay a per diem to be set by policy.
11. Mayor and Council are entitled to be included in the District of Tofino’s employment benefit program at the District’s cost.
12. Council meetings are to be attended by all Councillors. There is a two meeting absence for vacations and one meeting absence for sickness. If more than three meetings are missed then no further meeting stipends will be paid for missed meetings.
13. Each Councillor will be allotted a $500.00 discretionary budget to attend meetings benefitting (sic)the District outside the District without Council’s specific authorization.
14. District of Tofino Council Remuneration & Expense Reimbursement By-law No. 750, 1997 and any amendments thereto are hereby repealed.
READ a first time this 16th day of September, 2008 READ a second time this 16th day of September, 2008 READ a third time this 16th day of September, 2008
ADOPTED by Council this 14th day of October, 2008
John Fraser, Mayor Braden Smith, Interim CAO
I hereby certify the foregoing to be a true and correct copy of Bylaw No. 1077, 2008 cited as District of Tofino Council Remuneration & Expense Reimbursement Bylaw No. 1077, 2008 as adopted by Council this 14th day of October, 2008.
Braden Smith, Interim CAO

Monday, December 20, 2010

airport road

An avid blog reader has suggested that the airport road should get some attention....it needs grading......

Skype for Tofino Council meetings ?

There is a proposal being put forward for Mayor and Council to participate in meetings via Skype.This will allow Mayor and Council to run meetings from holiday destinations...
I would suggest that if they can't be bothered to attend meetings they should resign....

affordable housing vs. wages Dec.20 2010

While the District makes noise about affordable housing it has failed to recognize that the cost of living in Tofino has gone up with the introduction of the HST and our ridiculous water rates....District staff got a settlement of 0% over 2 years...(not management)....while I'm all in favor of keeping expenses down a small increase in pay to compensate for cost of living increases wouldn't be out of line....
The Mayor got a raise of about $6000.00 Canadian dollars and council got a raise of about $3500.00 Canadian dollars in 2010 !!! I think that is fair but a bit of a raise for District staff that actually show up for work would go a long way towards keeping staff employed on a long term basis and making sure that they can afford housing....

Parks Canada Sewer !! Dec.20,2010

As I can't get any info from the District during the holidays I'll try to get in touch with Parks Canada to see when they intend to connect to our decrepit sewer system.The optics of a National Park dumping raw sewage out into Duffin Cove might not be to appealing !!! Our Mayor should have been in Ottawa lobbying for infrastructure funding before going for holidays in Arizona....

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dec.16,2010 Esowista update

Just met with staff from Esowista...seems there is a simple solution to the sewer connection utilizing the existing pump station at Maltby Rd. rather than building a new station at six mile / stump dump.....still not sure on the status of the proposed twinning of the line between Maltby and Lynn rd. but I will keep you posted....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dec.15,2010 Special Projects Coordinator Update !!

It has been confirmed that Roberta Martell is no longer employed at The District of Tofino ! I was apprehensive when she was first hired but soon supported her position.....This is a loss for the District....please ask your Mayor and Council what the hell is going on !!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Special Projects Co-ordinator ???? Dec.13, 2010

Does anyone know the status of the Special Projects Co-ordinator ?? I tried to find out at the District Office but I'm still not sure if she continues to enjoy employment in our fair village......please write in if you know....thanks,Ralph

Highlights of Dec. 14,2010 meeting agenda

. Reports

Staff Reports:

1. Reports from the Director of Financial Services

(1) 2011 Budget – Draft Project Listing by Department, Report dated 2010- December-06

2. Report from the Deputy Clerk

(1) Council Procedure Amendment Bylaw – Electronic Meetings, Report dated 2010-December-08

(1) 1st Reading of District of Tofino Council Procedure Amendment Bylaw No. 1137, 2010

(2) 2nd Reading of District of Tofino Council Procedure Amendment Bylaw No. 1137, 2010

3. Report from the Manager of Community Sustainability

(1) Foreshore Development Permit Areas, Report dated 2010-December-07

4. Report from the Manager of Community Sustainability and the Director of Financial Services

(1) Campbell St. Revitalization, Report dated 2010-December-07



13. Reports

Committee Reports:

1. Committee Reports (verbal)

(1) Selection of Lighthouse Trail Committee Members (Councillor Tilitzky)

2. Minutes of the Tofino Housing Corporation Board of Directors Meeting held 2010-November-16

Recommendations to Council from THC Board of Directors:

(1) Resolution No. THCBD-17-10 re: Request for Proposals

(2) Resolution No. THCBD-18-10 re: Micro Homes

3. Minutes of the Committee of the Whole Meeting held 2010-November-23



14. Bylaws



15. New Business

1. Staff to Investigate Purchase of Electric Quads for Bylaw Enforcement Officer to Access Trails (Deputy Mayor Ashton)

2. Reminder of AVICC Upcoming Convention and Deadline for Submissions (Deputy Mayor Ashton)

3. Letter to Prime Minister of Canada requesting Federal Government to Enact Legislation Banning Offshore Tankers (Deputy Mayor Ashton)

4. Discussion of Community Walk-in Campground (Deputy Mayor Ashton)

5. Historical Downtown Plaques

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Esowista Update December 12,2010

From the Tla-o-qui-aht Newsletter of May,2009 " Funding for the entire Esowista Expansion infrastructure is now considered as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan announced by the Prime Minister in January of this year (with the exception of the forcemain under current construction). That includes water, sewer, roads, hydro, lighting, phone lines and likely a geothermal heating system. And a stipulation of Economic Action Plan funding is that the entire job has to be done by March 2011 "
Here in Tofino we are used to screw ups under this Mayor's reign....Pay Parking,Traffic Circles,Water shortages,Olympic parties,more water shortages,non-existent affordable housing,failed sewer grant applications but now we have involved our neighbors in our madness.....The people of Esowista signed an agreement with us to work cooperatively on a liquid waste management plan and it appears that we have been more than slow to make good on our end of the bargain...We have had time for two weeks of O-Zone parties at the Olympics , council get-aways at Whistler,photo ops with the electric truck....we've banned plastic bags and franchises and spent time looking into a village campground and we've announced grants for the arts and we've banned idling vehicles but we seem to have forgotten that our neighbors are depending on us to help with their sewer system..to make matters worse we have already accepted a rather large sum of money to finance the project....Let's hope that the Mayor rolls up his sleeves and gets to work to see this project completed on time !!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Esowista Update part 2 Dec 7 2010

Just heard from the District of Tofino regarding the Esowista sewer connection....John Motherwell and Associates, engineering consultants for the district are working on a plan and should have something together soon....
While this is good news I can't help but wonder why the Mayor would sign an agreement with Esowista without having the engineering figured out beforehand ???? How were the costs of the project arrived at ? I will try to find out.....

Esowista Update Dec 7 2010

According to Tofinonews sources the existing houses at Esowista are scheduled to hook up to the Tofino sewer system by the end of February.I'll try to find out today what the District of Tofino schedule is. If you have any info please write in. Thanks,Ralph

Friday, December 3, 2010

Esowista Update Dec.3,2010

The Tofino share of the twinning of the sewer line between Maltby Rd. and Lynn Rd. will be $773,520.00 or 58.6% of the total cost of $1,320,000.00. This is according to the agreement signed with Esowista.if you want a copy of the agreement I can email it to you.....thanks,Ralph

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Esowista Expansion Dec. 2, 2010

Some blog readers have expressed concern about the sewer connection from the Esowista Reserve to the Tofino sewer system. Building is underway at the Esowista Reserve expansion and soon they will need to hook up to the Tofino system....Tofino signed an agreement with Esowista in 2008 to provide access to the sewer system but the District seems to be leaving things until the last minute....According to the agreement document a new pump station will have to be installed at Maltby Rd. and the sewer line from Maltby Rd. to Lynn road will have to be twinned....Apparently there is an existing sewer connection that is south of Maltby Rd. which might be problematic to incorporate into the new connection.....Let's hope this can get sorted out before people are ready to move into their new homes.
Please write in if you have any information regarding this issue....thanks,Ralph

Municipal spending update Dec.2 , 2010

Tofino expenditures
2000 $2,424,249.00
2007 $4,951,603.00
figures taken from the Consolidated Statement of Financial Activities as posted on www.tofino.ca

http://www2.canada.com/westerly/story.html?id=b1672ac9-6d64-4846-ba33-1910b74fe185

Dec.2 ,2010 Municipal spending report

Vancouver, November 5, 2009 – As municipalities across the province consider property tax increases for 2010, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has released its second annual BC Municipal Spending Watch today showing that municipal operating spending continues to outpace population and inflation growth by a wide margin.

The study found that between 2000 and 2007 (the last year data is available) municipal operating spending across BC grew by 44 per cent, while population and inflation grew by only 25 per cent. Of 153 municipalities, 129 were unable to keep operating spending growth to population and inflation.

“This kind of spending is disrespectful to taxpayers and harmful to communities,” said Laura Jones, CFIB’s Vice President for Western Canada. “It means property taxes and other municipal fees increase faster than the ability of residents and business owners to pay.” If local governments had kept spending increases in line with population and inflation, taxpayers would have been left with an additional $572 million in their pockets in 2007. Put another way, property taxes could have been 14 per cent lower, leaving families more money to save and businesses more money to invest.

Twelve of BC’s largest municipalities spent more than double (2.00) population and inflation growth: Prince George (2.89); North Vancouver District (2.82); West Vancouver (2.80); Port Coquitlam (2.73); Penticton (2.58); North Vancouver City (2.54); Langley City (2.30); Vernon (2.21); Chilliwack (2.21); Maple Ridge (2.13); Coquitlam (2.10); and Langley District (2.09). Prince George had the greatest improvement in fiscal sustainability since last year while Mission saw the largest deterioration. The study finds that municipal wages are a substantial driver of municipal spending, with municipal employees earning 35 per cent more in wages and benefits than they would make in an equivalent job in the private sector.

“This is a wake up call to taxpayers. It’s time to demand more accountability from municipal governments—we have a number of recommendations including creating a Municipal Auditor General and restoring the business vote,” concludes Jones.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

District to take control of foreshore and beaches ?? Dec.1,2010

Persistent rumors that the District of Tofino is looking to take control of local beaches and foreshore leases......this has been discussed many times in the past but as the province is happy to download almost anything these days it may have new life.....this strikes fear in the hearts of foreshore lease holders as the District could do to foreshore leases as it has done to water rates....speaking of which.....what happened to the public outcry over water rates ?? Is the District going to subsidize water rates at the Subsidized Social Housing project ?

District of Tofino to get into rental business Dec 1,2010

The District of Tofino is looking for interest in the construction of a fourplex as part of its Subsidized Social Housing program.....While there is currently a surplus of long term rental housing on the market the District of Tofino is proceeding
"Based on the needs identified in the 2002 Official Community Plan"....I would suggest that the District of Tofino update its obsolete,prerecession Official Community Plan before it spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on Subsidized Social Housing.....
The District has already spent hundreds of thousands of your tax dollars on this project without so much as a single nail or two by four being purchased.....all spent on plans and studies.....a quick check of www.westcoaster.ca shows over 20 year round rental units available in Tofino.
to see details of the Districts request for expressions of interest check www.tofino.ca

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nov. 26, 2010

Sorry for the lack of posts....was busy with other stuff.....will have some things up next week....thanks for your patience,Ralph

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nov. 14 2010

should have some new reports soon....thanks,Ralph

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

guest posts

If you wish to make a guest post I need to have contact information....thanks,Ralph

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Court Action Update !! Nov.9,2010

The Yew Wood subdivision saga continues as Yew Wood Properties Ltd squares off against the District of Tofino in The Supreme Court in Victoria....I'll have details as soon as they are available.....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

DCC Bylaw update Nov.2 ,2010

Just spoke with Joshua Craig at the Ministry of Community and Rural Development....He said that the ministry has not approved the new DCC bylaw but will continue to work with the District of Tofino to refine the bylaw.As of this post the DCC bylaw has not been rejected. I hope this provides some clarity to many readers requests for information.

Monday, November 1, 2010

DCC Bylaw Nov.1 2010

Lots of calls and emails about the new proposed DCC Bylaw. I have no new information at this time but will try to get more info for a post tomorrow.

Another lawsuit against the District of Tofino !!!! Nov.1 ,2010

The District of Tofino is being sued again !! Court documents obtained by Tofinonews show that Weigh West Marine Resort Incorporated initiated court action against the District of Tofino on Oct.28 ,2010.
First scheduled hearing will be on November 25,2010 at 9:45am at the Supreme Court in Victoria.Counsel for Weigh West Marine Resort Incorporated is L. John Alexander.
A further search of the Supreme Court Registry shows that the District of Tofino still has unresolved court actions with Yew Wood Properties Ltd.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

water bill from Nanoose Oct.28,2010

A reader forwarded their water bill for a house in Nanoose equipped with the usual amenities as well as an automatic sprinkler....total bill for the summer months was $139.98
Meter reading was from May 12,2010 until September 10,2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Social Subsidized Housing bylaw passes !!

As predicted the Subsidized Social Housing bylaw passed......read all about it in the Westerly....had a good debate with a former council member as to whether subsidized housing helps the poor or helps business maintain low labour costs...comments ?
While I'm ranting....there are many people in Tofino that own houses but are on low or fixed incomes....many on pension.....if we are going to subsidize housing why not subsidize the water and sewer rates for low income residents ???

oct.26 2010 Public Hearing on Subsidized Housing

I find myself at work this morning ( I'm working on my other computer) so I won't be able to attend the Public Hearing for the rezoning of DL 114 for Subsidized Social Housing....I guess that's why they hold the meetings during working hours...not that it would matter as the District Council has already decided to proceed with the initiative. I can't think of any private enterprise operations that would hire a project coordinator before they even went to a public hearing for rezoning....
The Tofino Housing Corporation has been an ongoing GRAVY TRAIN for consultants....hundreds of thousands of tax dollars already spent....this has been going on for over six years !! Vacancy rates for long term rentals are at a 20 year high but they still want to proceed on the basis of an outdated survey and an outdated Official Community Plan....I think only an election will bring any common sense to this discussion......

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ambulance tragedy

RIP......my condolences

Friday, October 15, 2010

Affordable Housing at no cost to the taxpayer !! Oct.15,2010

http://www.victoria.ca/cityhall/planning-garden-suites-pilot-project.shtml
Victoria and Vancouver are both pursuing the concept of "Garden Suites ".....this is a solution for affordable housing that would work well for Tofino.It allows for a small cabin on lots of greater than 6000 sq.ft......having a rental unit in a small separate building allows a lot more privacy than a standard secondary suite.....
Why doesn't Tofino Council at least explore this option before reaching in to the taxpayers wallet for a Social Subsidized Housing plan ? Why didn't Glen Clark think twice about building Fast Ferries ?
Most properties at Chesterman's Beach already have cabins that council turns a blind eye to......I used to have a house on Neill st. that had a huge unused back yard that would have been perfect for this type of housing....most of the lots in town are 7200 sq.ft.
Council could actually embrace this plan and work to develop a prefab unit that meets with neighborhood aesthetics...ie. rooflines and siding that match existing house....
This is just an idea but the largest cities in BC are actively pursuing it...comments please ?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

bears oct 14, 2010

bears reported in the Christian subdivision at Mckenzie beach this morning.....

Bowen Island Sunday Bylaw

http://bowen-island-bc.com/forum/read.php?1,1189271

If you thought Tofino has some wacky bylaws....check out the proposed Sunday Noise Bylaw at Bowen Island.......no construction work,motorized yard work.....etc..

Social Subsidized Housing Public Hearing

A public hearing is being held to rezone parts of DL 114 to rezone for the Social Subsidized Housing.Please write to the District with your thoughts or attend the meeting.Currently two out of three members of the advisory board live out of town and aren't Tofino taxpayers or renters.There is no defined criteria as to who will qualify for the Subsidized Housing or if the water rates will also be subsidized.Part of the existing business plan is to sell building lots at $200,000.00 which is much higher than today's market prices.
Let's have a referendum before Tofino gets into a situation like Vancouver's Millenium project !!!
In response to a telephone question....I fully support subsidized housing for the elderly and disabled......

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING (Rezoning)



LOT A, DISTRICT LOT 114, CLAYOQUOT DISTRICT, PLAN 32751, EXCEPT THOSE PARTS IN PLANS 34031, 34040, 35014, VIP53861, VIP56340 AND VIP57131



Notice is hereby given that a Public Hearing pursuant to Section 890 of the Local Government Act will be held in the Council Chambers of the Tofino Municipal Hall, 380 Campbell St., Tofino, B.C., on Tuesday, October 26th, 2010 at 9:00 AM to hear representations from members of the public who deem their interest in property affected by the following bylaw:



BYLAW No. 1125: “District of Tofino Zoning Map Amendment Bylaw No.1125, 2010 (amending Tofino Zoning Bylaw No. 770)”, a bylaw to rezone two portions of LOT A, DISTRICT LOT 114, CLAYOQUOT DISTRICT, PLAN 32751, EXCEPT THOSE PARTS IN PLANS 34031, 34040, 35014, VIP53861, VIP56340 AND VIP57131 to THC Low To Medium Multiple Family Residential District (CD-THC1).



The purpose of the rezoning is to permit the development of affordable housing based on the Local Area Plan for District Lot 114. Owner/Applicant: District of Tofino.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oct. 11 , 2010 rental ads

http://www.westcoaster.ca/directory/browse-176-1-0-accommodation-for-rent.php

A check of Whistler's Affordable Housing website shows some studio units available at $775.00 per month and one bedroom units at $975.00 per month

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Oct.9,2010 Special Projects Coordinator

I made contact with the District of Tofino regarding the hiring of Roberta Martell as the Special Projects Coordinator. The only comment forthcoming was that a press release would be made next week.The Special Projects Coordinator will be responsible for the Subsidized Social Housing Project as well as the Lighthouse Trail and other projects identified by council as priorities.....I'll post the press release as soon as it is available. A quick Google search shows that she has a good record of getting things done....

Friday, October 8, 2010

Real Estate Bubble bursting ? Oct.8.2010

The Ittatsoo Bay development near Ucluelet has cut in half their asking prices for lots and are offering vendor financing ....you can buy a 10 acre parcel for only $210,000.00....is this a sign of things to come ? Thanks to special reporter Grady for this story....

Thursday, October 7, 2010

No glass recycling in Tofino Oct.7 ,2010

CBC radio reported this morning that glass is not recycled in Tofino.....Electric truck....no plastic bags....no idling vehicles but glass goes to the landfill......

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

oct. 6 2010 "Lighthouse Trail"

A few people commented by phone or online about the "Lighthouse Trail " going nowhere..not necessarily...when Middle Beach Lodge was built there was supposed to be a public access trail from McKenzie beach road to Middle Beach....if this were resurrected it could hook up to the trail from Tonquin Park.....this would give a nice access point for anyone staying on McKenzie beach and for those in Vinyl Village and the Christian subdivision etc.....a trail from McKenzie Beach to town via the waterfront to Tonquin would be great and would make it easier to put the run on hippies trying to squat at Tonquin.....

housing blog

http://www.greaterfool.ca/

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fraser goes for third term !! Oct 5. 2010

Westcoaster.ca reports that John Fraser will run for a third term as Mayor of Tofino !!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

thanks

thanks to the Tofino councilor who spoke out against mandatory skateboard helmets!! we already live in a nanny state !! growing up here without helmets....none of us died....

rental ads oct 3,2010



no shortage of rentals in Tofino these days yet council still is pushing subsidized social housing based on an eight year old study......one just has to look at the Olympic Village in Vancouver to see how well this can work....

Special Projects Co-ordinator hired October 3 2010

According to multiple sources the District of Tofino has hired a Special Projects Coordinator.She will be looking after the Subsidized Housing Project as well as other projects deemed as priorities by council.I don't recall seeing this job posted....please correct me if you saw an ad for this job anywhere.....at least the district has implemented the "hire locally " policy....

Friday, October 1, 2010

Oct 1, 2010 Let's party in Whistler !

Council is at Whistler ! According to Westcoaster.ca they are still pursuing the construction of a municipal campsite ! Please tell your councilors to stop this madness !
There are plenty of local campgrounds run by private enterprise...no need for tax dollars providing competition....
With subsidized social housing and a municipal campground on the way can it be long before council recognizes that Tofino needs a subsidized grocery store ?? The price of Tofu at the Co-op is forcing me to eat fish....

On the positive side....good for council to bring up the issue of the 1st st. dock....

Monday, September 27, 2010

Catface Mine September 27,2010

Shares in Imperial Metals (Catface copper project) hit a record high this morning in early trading.....shares hit $22.68 a share up from a 52 week low of $4.71.Positive results from Catface test drilling as well as results from other Imperial projects and high metal prices are contributing to the meteoric rise in Imperial shares.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

First St. Dock Sept.26 2010

Had a few questions phoned in about the 1st st. dock. The dock is the responsibility of the District of Tofino, not the Harbor Authority....
The District is responsible for the maintenance of the dock
As far as I know the District gets no user fees from the dock
If anyone has more info or a correction please write in or call

Friday, September 24, 2010

housing

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/investment-ideas/experts-podium/bubble-or-not-canadian-markets-in-for-rude-awakening/article1722246/

North Chesterman's Parking project

The design for the North Chesterman's parking lots has been modified so that there will be no net loss of parking spaces ! This is good news as beach parking is already at a premium....washrooms are still part of the plan.....

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Catface Mine !! Sept 23, 2010

New story on the Catface Mine in the Westerly News.....check it out...

Resort Community Funding Sept 23,2010 Update

Met with the CAO today....he clarified what can and cannot be financed with Resort Community Funding... it has to be used to promote tourism or to finance facilities that will increase tourism....It works on a "use it or lose it" basis.....if the money isn't spent it doesn't accumulate year after year.....
The Lighthouse Trail would be eligible (Tonquin to Middle Beach)
The Downtown Revitalization (Campbell st upgrades and improved parking and traffic issues) would be eligible
The program is open to a degree of interpretation....it is possible that upgrades to the 1st st. dock might be eligible if they are tourist related....
The bike park would be eligible and it is on the list of proposed projects...

Resort Community Funding Sept 23,2010

Resort Municipality Tax Transfer Program
This program transfers, by agreements with Resort Bodies, between 1% and 4% of the 8% Provincial Hotel Room Tax (HRT) generated within a Resort Area to the designated Resort Body for the development of their tourism economies. The goal is to finance new or improved resort infrastructure and services to increase the number of visitors to these resort regions, whether their visitor experience is tied to mountain, ocean or lake-front activities.
I'll be meeting with District of Tofino staff today to clarify what projects are eligible for Resort Community funding.
I hope to have a report posted later today......

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Aaron Rodgers promoted !! Sept 22,2010

Congratulations to Aaron Rodgers on his promotion to Manager of Community Sustainability ! Glad to see the District of Tofino hiring locally !

Council priorities Sept.22,2010

The Westerly News reports that Tofino Council has identified four projects to be completed in the next year :
The Tofino Housing Corporations affordable housing initiative
Downtown Revitalization
Lighthouse Trail
Multiple Use Path to Fourth St.

No mention of the sewer system......
No mention of affordable water rates......
No mention of a new Official Community Plan.....
No mention of the bike park.....
No mention of what to do with the First St. Dock......

The District of Tofino has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the affordable housing project without as much as one nail or one 2 x 4 being purchased...study after study,consultant after consultant.....
A quick check of the internet showed a variety of condos available between $200,000 and $279,000 and those are asking prices.....Westcoaster.ca had over twenty rental situations available from single rooms to entire houses....many year round....enough tax dollars spent on this already !
Nice to see the MUP get finished though....

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cubs kicked out ? September 21,2010

A blog reader called in to ask if I know about the Tofino Cub Scouts being kicked out of the Community Hall ?? Does anyone have any information on this subject? Please comment or call me.....thanks,Ralph

Special events permits Sept.21, 2010

Just spoke with District of Tofino staff...there are two different fee schedules...one for filming and another for special events.....the special events fees are lower than the filming fees.....

Monday, September 20, 2010

a phone-in question Sept.20,2010

A blog reader called in to ask what the District of Tofino charges for commercial use of our beaches ?? Commercial use being defined as filming of commercials,movies and large scale surf contests. I will check with the district tomorrow and will try to post what I find out......

Tofino Sewer System Sept 20,2010

Just a reminder that as we are dazzled by weeping cedar women,electric trucks,surf contests etc. that the number one issue facing Tofino is the need for a sewer treatment plant !

Nova Scotia Surf Contest Results

Here's the results from the 2010 Billabong September Storm Surf Classic:
Open Pro
1. Pete Devries, Tofino, B.C.
2. Nico Manos, Halifax
3. Noah Cohen, Tofino, B.C.
4. Marty King, Halifax

Men’s Amateur
1. Roman Husiuk, Halifax
2. Keegan Day, Halifax
3. Zak Bush, Halifax

Women’s Amateur
1. Leah Oke, Port Renfrew, B.C.
2. Julie Forbes, Halifax
3. Michelle Richards, Cape Breton Island

Boys Under-18
1. Isaac Norman, Halifax
2. Kyle Watson, Halifax
3. Will Bagnell, South Shore, Nova Scotia

Boys Under-16
1. Colin Colson, Halifax
2. Ross Bagnell, South Shore, Nova Scotia

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Multiplex update Sept.19 ,2010

Just back from the Multiplex meeting...I admit I was skeptical at best to begin with but after seeing the possibility of a small co-generation plant on site I'm starting to see that it could work. I haven't gone over the numbers yet but I will have an update as soon as possible.....having just paid my garbage bill I'm thinking a co-generation plant with a proper recycling facility could go quite a ways towards offsetting Multiplex costs........

Guest editorials and letters to the editor

If you have a subject that you are concerned about and want it published on this blog just submit it with your email and phone number and I'll do my best to post it....profanity not acceptable and you must be prepared to have your name published with your submission......

Guest editorial by Simon Watson

The Cold Water Classic is coming to our fair shores once again. Great! This huge multi-national multi billion dollar company offering upwards of $145,000.00 in prize money. WOW!! Yet they along with tourism Tofino are asking for volunteers to direct traffic, pick up garbage and act as goodwill ambassadors to our town. Volunteers WTF? This corporation is worth millions! If tourism Tofino wants volunteers here's an idea they can do it.If O'Neil can't afford to clean up their mess and provide safe and secure parking then perhaps they should take a very close look at the idea of running international contests.
If this was a not for profit contest and donations are made to organizations like the hospice or hospital I say bring on the volunteers! But to have the nerve to ask for people to work for free for a commercial money making venture is ridiculous. A local group known as Pacific Rim Surfrider asked to have a information booth set up on the beach yet was told by the contest organizer no! This group wanted hand out information on ocean health, beach access and other environmental issues that concern all beach goers. This group is a non-profit....... request denied. But hey no problem if you want be included in the contest you can direct traffic.
There are many kids who would welcome the chance of making a few extra bucks during the contest yet O'Neil and its organizers don't feel it important to contribute to the economy of our area this way. Tourism Tofino and its members should be held entirely accountable for cleaning up and addressing all the issues you are asking volunteers to do.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Henry Nolla Sept.17 2010

It isn't politics but be sure to check out the Henry Nolla exhibit at the "Carving on the Edge" event......

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

original weeping totem a Haida image

No Weeping Woman Totem !

Westcoaster.ca reports that council has voted against the $20,000.00 purchase of the weeping cedar woman totem ! thank you council !!

Westcoast Multiplex Sept. 15 2010 Kendal Kelly

On a different subject, the Westcoast Multiplex Society is holding an open house at the golf course on Sunday, September 19 at 6PM. It is the last opportunity for the commmunity members to provide input and feedback before the design drawings begin. It is a great chance to become informed about the opportunities that are available that could make the facility revenue neutral or even profitable. Please join us for the event and bring your ideas.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tofino Surfrider Foundation shut out of Cold Water Classic !!

According to Paul Jarvis,president of the Pacific Rim Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, O'Neill has told the organization that they are not welcome to set up an information tent at the site of this year's Cold Water Classic.The reason given was permitting issues.....a call to the District of Tofino revealed that no permit has been issued as of this posting.....
O'Neill Canada has however said that it would allow Surfrider members to help with parking cars.....
In contrast to O'Neill's position...Rip Curl welcomed Surfrider at their Rip Curl Stew contest that was held in the same area and subject to the same permit process.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Scooters on the MUP !! Sept. 12,2010

Whats with the proliferation of scooters on the multiple use path ? I saw a white scooter almost take out an elderly couple this evening......

Friday, September 10, 2010

DCC Changes Sept !0 2010

Good news ! The Westerly News reports that changes are coming to Tofino's DCC rates.....
http://www2.canada.com/westerly/news/story.html?id=42fee243-693d-40bb-8495-21b6e42476be

September 10,2010 Bike Park etc....

Good morning, I'll try to get comment from the District of Tofino on the bike park issue today....
received an interesting comment on the electric truck...pure greenwashing as some of the District garbage cans require a backhoe and a truck simply to change a garbage bag !
Another reader asked about the status of the First St. dock...as far as I know the dock is owned or operated by the District of Tofino....the taxpayer is responsible for the upkeep of the dock....
Other readers who live in the Lone Cone subdivision {Heubner Heights) called in to ask what is going on with the Community Garden/Community Park controversy.....??? If anyone has an update please write in....

Thursday, September 2, 2010

good and bad Sept2 2010

Good-New safety measures on Hwy 4.crosswalks etc......
Bad- Council contemplates purchase of Weeping Cedar Woman....

Bike Park Sept.2 ,2010

Can anyone provide details about the proposed bike park and the conflict between the school and the district ? Apparently there is land available for a bike park but there is an ongoing dispute between the district and the school over gym use or something ? thanks,Ralph

New article at Westerly News regarding funding agreement between the district and school board
http://www2.canada.com/westerly/news/story.html?id=8c8b484d-852f-41d1-881f-292ed445cc05

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bob Schantz appointed to new position August 30 2010

The Westerly News reports that Bob Schantz has been appointed to the position of Manager of Public Works and Building Inspection.This will be a permanent,full time position.Best wishes to Bob at his new role at the District of Tofino.

http://www2.canada.com/westerly/story.html?id=f861d339-a854-4209-83b3-0bf35b26ae14

Saturday, August 28, 2010

electric truck !! August 28th 2010

I didn't think the electric truck would generate so many comments ! most can be found on the August 24th posting....I have to agree that it is probably a good vehicle for meter reading or other slow speed tasks.....check out www.canev.com for details.....

Thursday, August 26, 2010

August 26 2010

Howard McDiarmid R.I.P.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Auditor' report update july 23,2010

Just spoke with District staff and I was assured that I will be able to view the Auditor's report as soon as possible.It was explained that the District is still catching up from being short staffed and that in the future there will be a greater degree of transparency......I accept this explanation and hope to have a post with information soon.......

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ucluelet Auditor's report !! Public !

The Ucluelet Auditor's report was presented at an open council meeting and reported on in this Westerly News article:
http://www2.canada.com/westerly/story.html?id=761f6f1c-9a38-441d-840f-98b943fcde99

Auditor's report !! August 23,2010

District staff refused to let TofinoNews see the Auditor's report today.....they cited that the report was received at an "in-camera" meeting and thus must remain secret....I'll try again tomorrow or the next day. It is very important that this document be made public as it is with the Provincial and Federal Auditor General's reports.....the whole concept of the audit process is to make public any problems that might need to be addressed !!! You may recall on August 19,2010 BC Auditor General John Doyle brought down a scathing report on the BC Liberal's financial reporting....he stated that the "government has not followed Generally Accepted Accounting Practices"
One wonders what council is trying to keep secret in this Auditor's report.....I will have an update on this story soon unless I am forced to make a "Freedom of Information " request in which case it will take at least six weeks......I was recently refused an FOI with the District citing third party privacy....instead of getting a document that had any third party information removed,the document was withheld altogether !!!

The public BC Auditor General's reports can be found at www.bcauditor.com
The public Federal Auditor General's reports can be found at www.oag-bvg.gc.ca

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Westerly article on Mckinnon Aug 21,2010

In case you missed it, the Westerly News ran a good article on why we didn't get the sewer grant.......

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tofino for sale ? August 20 2010

This isn't really news but I had a call the other day from a friend asking why there are so many properties for sale in Tofino.....acreage at Tonquin,Gibson Street,the Heubner lands,Rosie Bay and Tofino Inlet add up to over 100 acres !!! all within the town borders....The Sushi Bar is for sale,Duffin Cove Resort,Pacific Breeze Motel are all for sale....the Wilson Building, The Adams Building,Cedar Corners,Sugar Shack property are also for sale......
There is also a huge inventory of residential properties for sale.....lots still available at Yew Wood subdivision at around 150K.....
The average price of a single detached home in Tofino is still above half a million dollars......not many sales though.....less than 7 years ago you could buy a great house for 250-300 K.....

Monday, August 16, 2010

August 16 2010

Persistent rumors of expansion of camping facilities and washrooms in Pacific Rim Park.....all adding to the sewage problem in Tofino as we have agreed to accept waste water from the park......let's hope these rumors are unfounded.....lots of response to lowering the speed limit out to the park boundary to 50 kmh.....

Friday, August 13, 2010

August 13 2010

sorry no new posts.....was out in the sun today.....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sunny ! August 11 2010

This just in ! It's sunny in Port Alberni ! just thought you should know.....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

speed limit

there is discussion on changing the speed limit to 50kmh all the way to cox bay.....your thoughts ?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

new treasurer august 5 2010

Nyla Attiana has taken the job as treasurer.....glad to see the district hiring locally...best wishes with the new job !!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lennard Light foghorn August 4,2010

Seeing as how summer has been canceled this year I was wondering if the federal government would consider reactivating the foghorn at Lennard Island Lighthouse ?? I know some tourists found it's tone offensive but I miss it !

Saturday, July 31, 2010

sign story july,31

The sign pic that had to be removed was a sasquatch warning done like the Parks Canada bear warnings......there might still be some up at Chesterman's Beach...it was pretty funny....

Monday, July 26, 2010

July 26,2010 new sign !

sign photo was removed as requested by Parks Canada.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

District Website July 20, 2010

Met with district staff today and they assured me there was no scandal with the request for proposals regarding the district website.If you are interested in the project you should contact the district asap.....

Monday, July 19, 2010

affordable housing

Many years ago there was a problem with housing for the fish plant workers....the District of Tofino made available a property to private enterprise with the covenant that they would provide rental apartments.....hence Sin City ( Tonquin Apartments) was born and has provided affordable housing for 30 years at little or no cost to the taxpayer.....while the District of Tofino didn't get a high price for the land it has benefited from the taxation on the property and lots of people call it home....all without government subsidies....

Tofino Housing Corporation July 19,2010

The Tofino Housing Corporation is seeking board members !! Please consider applying....check out www.tofinohousing.ca
Currently there is only one board member from Tofino so they could use more local input...I have applied in the past and been rejected but I will apply again....you should too.....
Many years ago the original idea was to have a dormitory style building to house seasonal workers but it has ballooned into a 40 acre subdivision located by the Community Center.....many hundreds of thousands of tax dollars have been spent on consultants and planning over the past six years but so far no housing has been provided...
Please volunteer and have a say in how your tax dollars are spent !! Contact information is available at the website shown above. The project as proposed now has a budget of over ten million dollars......

Friday, July 16, 2010

in response to thousands of requests !! a happy post !

Hi, I had a nice surf at Long Beach tonight

Sharp Rd, Water Treatment Plant July 16 ,2010

From the Westerly News Oct 16,2008

"Coun. Kendal Kelly wondered if the proposed plant is "over-engineered" and too complicated to run.

MacKinnon agreed the district will require highly trained staff to run the system. He also noted there will be a start-up and shut down period of roughly two weeks before and after the water is used. The contract for designing the plant was tendered by the district's engineering firm, Koers and Associates."

Sharp Rd. water treatment plant July 16 2010

Does anyone know what the deal is with the Sharp rd. water treatment plant ? Sources have informed TOFINONEWS that there are no members of the Public Works staff qualified to operate and maintain the plant so an independent contractor has been hired and is staying in a local waterfront hotel at the taxpayer's expense ! I really hope I'm wrong on this one.....please write in if you know......thanks,Ralph

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

grant money available !!

If we had a shovel-ready plan in place we could still get some stimulus grant money !

OTTAWA - Ottawa has decided to allow municipal governments to add some last-minute projects to their stimulus list, since some bids for the federal government's massive infrastructure plan are coming in well under budget.

"We are monitoring projects on a regular basis with the provinces. Where tender prices have come in under budget, we have recycled that money to create even more jobs," said James Kusie, spokesman for Transport and Infrastructure Minister John Baird.

But there's a hitch in the effort to recycle funds.

The new projects won't get any extra time to come to completion. Like all the projects funded by the $16-billion federal stimulus money, Ottawa will pay the bills only up until March 31, 2011.

So it's not clear how many cities will actually take advantage of the flexibility.

District Website Scandal !

What's the deal with the Request for Proposals for the District website ? why was there only a few days given for proposals ? does anybody know the deal ? please write in.....thanks

even more sewer grant stuff July 14,2010

from the sewer grant application:
"Phase 2 of the project will include Integrated Resource Management to generate heat and electricity from wastewater treatment,will consider anaerobic digestion of wet ,organic waste in combination with biosolids(to generate biodiesel/biogas) and will consider reduction/gasification of solid wastes (including digested biosolid residue and wood residue from logging and land clearing(hog fuel) to generate energy and heat."
"Phase 1 of this project will recover heat from a proposed sewer lift station and will use this heat to offset heating costs in proposed Fire Hall and RCMP public buildings. Solar hot water heating will be explored to offset some of the remaining energy costs. Although only considered in preliminary form at this time, the opportunity to generate energy from a future turbine installed in the outfall pipe of the proposed Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) will be considered together with opportunities to generate heat,biofuels and electricity from the Phase 2 of the project that will include design,construction and commissioning of the future STP."

even more sewer grant info July 14,2010

From a letter dated March 16, 2009 regarding the the sewer grant application: " I have,however not completed a construction cost estimate (yet) based on the alignment proposed in our Project # 23010 Feasibility Assessment (please refer to Appendix A of initial submission), and cannot complete it in time to meet the March 16,2009 deadline. We respectfully request that you factor our challenges into your evaluation criteria and do not penalize our community because we have staff time and budget challenges."

I guess these challenges were overcome with regards to the traffic roundabout that became a beautification project at the North Chesterman's Beach parking lot as the District of Tofino was successful in securing a grant for that project.

more sewer grant info July 14,2010

from the Westerly News : "The utility corridor is directed through undeveloped land owned by the District of Tofino," MacKinnon said, "how the province interpreted we were building the corridor to access new development lands is beyond me, based on all the information placed into the grant application."
from the Sept.2008 Utility Corridor Feasibility Study:" Construction costs for that portion of the revised Arnet Road Utility Corridor through DL122,are anticipated to be paid for by the property owners.These costs will include the proposed intersection and highway widening at future Arnet Road and Campbell Street,the proposed Sewer Lift Station, the proposed Water Pump Station,the 200mm diameter watermain,the 200mm diameter Sewer Forcemain and the Arnet Road (Utility Corridor),all constructed as DCC projects.Following the construction,District of Tofino would then offer a DCC rebate for the incremental portion of the costs beyond the local requirement, as described in the Development Cost Charge Bylaw Amendment 2008.
from an obtained document "Project Benefits District of Tofino Sewage Treatment Phase 1-Arnet Road Utility Corridor" : page 2. "Facilitates future development of more than 100 ha or (sic) land presently inaccessible and undeveloped (Dl 114,117,118 and 121 ).
It should be noted that DL 121 is being considered for development by local First Nations.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sewer Grant information July 13,2010

Here's an excerpt from a July 8,2010 interview with the Tofino Public Works Superintendent as it appeared in the Westerly News:
"The utility corridor is directed through undeveloped land owned by the District of Tofino," MacKinnon said, "how the province interpreted we were building the corridor to access new development lands is beyond me, based on all the information placed into the grant application."
However documents obtained by TofinoNews show the proposed utility corridor passing through private lands;DL 122 !!
"Where the revised alignment of the Utility Corridor may terminate at Campbell Street is shown on attached Figure 7.This alignment shows a conceptual layout of turning lanes,acceleration lanes for southbound traffic, a left-turn lane for northbound traffic with sufficient area to accommodate an estimated 18 to 20 vehicles (130 lineal metres), all adjacent to DL122 frontage,which is currently at rezoning,OCP amendment and imminent subdivision stages." The attached figure 7 shows the utility corridor intersecting with Campbell Street over private lands just south of the ambulance station.
The original plan for the utility corridor had it connecting to Campbell Street by means of the existing Industrial Way.

july 13,2010 FOI results

Pleased to announce that all councilors and the mayor have filed very reasonable expense claims regarding the Olympic Party.....what the Freedom of Information request revealed is that there seemed to be a "culture of entitlement" that existed with some former staff....It might seem like small change if you are getting paid in excess of $100,000.00 a year but is it fair to ask the taxpayer to pay for "lunch meetings " at trendy restaurants ??
Still trying to sort out what went wrong with the grant application for the sewer system.....didn't get all the info I need yet.....
Perhaps council could form an audit committee to oversee spending issues....much like the Auditor-General at the federal level.....

Thursday, July 8, 2010

July 8,2010

With regards to staff turnover.....we had a good treasurer and she was forced to resign as she was unable to compromise her ethics....I don't enjoy seeing competent staff leave but most often we have people that don't want to stay in the first place or don't even want to live here.....there are many good people on staff at the district that have been there for decades and are fully committed to the community.....I think the District should be more careful with their hiring and then we'll have staff that want to be here....there is often friction between staff and the public but that's true in any jurisdiction.....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

july 7 2010

Mckinnon has resigned.....gave 2 months notice......will have access to some requested documents on Friday.....will post immediately afterwards......

July 7 2010

Sorry for the lack of posts.....out fishing for a couple of days.....work going on at Cox Bay rock walls......will have an update later....persistent rumors of another high level defection in the district staff.....don't know if Tofino has tried to re-hire the former Treasurer....will have some info on the info requests with the District later today....

Friday, July 2, 2010

July 2,2010

Good morning, glad to see a good turnout for the Canada Day festivities...thanks to all the volunteers.......still nothing back from the District on the requests for information.....lots of comments about a proposed raspberry patch....could someone please send in the details of this controversy ? thanks

July 2,2010 another sign

Sunday, June 27, 2010

sign picture !!



the opinions expressed by the sign maker are theirs and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this blogger.

Friday, June 25, 2010

sign update june 25 , 2010

I saw the sign later today ! It was at the District Office......apparently I was the main suspect but I had nothing to do with it....In fact I called bylaw to inform them of the sign.....I think a pic will be available soon....whoever put up the sign...please don't put it by my house as it caused me a bit of grief.....having said that lots of people that saw the sign thought it was great....

Quick action ! june 25,2010

Funny how quick a protest sign is torn down but it takes a full 30 working days to get a Freedom of Information request......

Sign Down !! June 25,2010

The political sign is already down !

sign of the times June 25,2010

A sign was posted close to my house this morning expressing displeasure with the mayor and some staff......I had nothing to do with the sign but understand that the people of Tofino are extremely frustrated with the current regime......most of the comments submitted to this site can't be posted as they are unsuitable for public viewing....
Lots of people wrote in regarding Mayor John Fraser's recent interview on CBC radio....the Mayor said that we have nothing to fear in the event of a major Tsunami as we can all eat farmed salmon......perhaps with some bottled Tofino water on the side ?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

June 22,2010 Bob Long Long Gone !!

A sigh of relief was heard throughout the town as news of Bob Long's resignation was made public.......Braden Smith will be acting CAO on an interim basis.....press release available at www.tofino.ca

Monday, June 21, 2010

june 21 2010 sewer and water

good morning....lots of questions about the old wastewater management plan....??? what happened to the plan to put the sewer line up Industrial Way....?? the original plan was quite simple.....Industrial Way would be extended to go behind the Esso and come out by the Community Center......no private lands involved.....
Other questions about the new water treatment plant at Sharp Rd...As far as I was told it is fully automated.....should be minimal labour costs associated with it....I will try to find out exactly how it is working.....
thanks for all your questions....I'll try to deal with as many as possible.....I don't know anything about the isolated section of sidewalk on 4th street.....if anyone knows please write in....thanks

Friday, June 18, 2010

june 18,2010 sewer grant

Sorry for the lack of posts....I was up in Ahousat for a few days.....lots of people writing in asking why Tofino didn't get any of the massive Infrastructure Stimulus Funds to upgrade our sewer system......I'm looking into it.....as Tofino and Victoria are the only communities on Vancouver Island still dumping raw sewage into the Pacific Ocean it would seem likely that funds would be available....stay tuned.....

Friday, June 11, 2010

June 11,2010

R.I.P. Steve Clarke......passed away today.....my condolences.......he was a good guy.....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Recall legislation and Consultants June 10,2010

In response to your many questions : there is no way to recall the Mayor.....although this scandal continues to grow there is no way he can be forced from office. You can ask your councillors to put forth a motion asking for his resignation but he is not compelled to step down.
Tofino continues to be a consultant's paradise....no one seems to know who is allowed to hire consultants and if Council is needed to approve such hirings !!
Does anyone know who approved the Reorganization Report ? Who approved the hiring of Jerry Berry as a consultant ?
Who approved the hiring of Gerard Leblanc to consult with the ill-fated DCC committee ?? Maybe all consultants are hired in-camera ? if anyone wknows please write in....everything seems to be done in secret meetings or with a gag order associated with it !!! It's your tax money ! ask your councillors what is going on !!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Scott Fraser MLA

This morning I had a converstaion with former Tofino Mayor and now MLA Scott Fraser regarding the sordid state of affairs in our town......I'll be forwarding info to him as well as the Ministry for Community Services ( formerly Municipal Affairs)

Big Questions !!

The District of Tofino staff confirmed this morning that Bob Long continues to enjoy employment at the District.....also confirmed that Edward Henley is still working with the District of Tofino in some capacity.....
The Big Question is why Mayor Fraser accepted the resignation of Treasurer Jennifer Robb instead of asking for the resignation of the CAO Bob Long ??? The Mayor must have known about the conflicting versions of the FOI request......of course this is all covered by gag orders and In Camera meetings but I feel that the people have the right to know !!

some background on District consultants

http://www.nanaimoinformation.com/forum/showthread.php?5136-Jerry-Berry-Resigns

Jerry Berry has been working as a consultant for the District of Tofino

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

meeting

Nobody seems to know what happened at the council meeting !! please write in if you know what was decided. thanks,Ralph

dot gibson

R.I.P. Dot Gibson......my condolences to family and friends........Mrs. Gibson was always nice to me.

Tofino Olympic Party costs concealed !!! June 8,2010

westcoaster.ca has printed a great story about the controversial Tofino O-zone party !!! Keven Drews has received documents showing that there were two responses to my Freedom of Information request on the Olympic party expenses !!

http://www.westcoaster.ca/modules/AMS/article.php?storyid=7889

The expenses as calculated by the District Treasurer were about $12,000.00 higher than the expenses provided by Bob Long, the District of Tofino Administrator........

Monday, June 7, 2010

council meeting

the council meeting is tomorrow at 9 in the morning .......tuesday june,8,2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010

DCC Committee awash in controversy !!!

Seems the DCC committee is not happy with the way their final report was handled !!! Apparently they will be taking their concerns to Council on Tuesday......should be a great meeting !! try to attend !!

Olympic Party Costs !! June 6,2010

After waiting many weeks I finally received the statement for the Olympic O-zone Party costs !!! For some reason the Freedom of Information request was handled by Bob Long,the CAO !!! Normally requests for financial information would be handled by the District Treasurer......My request was made long before the Treasurer resigned !! Why didn't the Treasurer handle the request ? When contacted the Treasurer declined comment as there is a gag order associated with her resignation.....Why ?? there was no gag order when the Building Inspector resigned !! What's going on here ?
I've filed a Freedom of Information request to get all correspondence between the CAO and District of Tofino staff regarding the O-Zone costs FOI request......let's hope I get it sooner than the last request !!
According to the FOI request it only cost the District of Tofino taxpayers $2,616.62 !!! Please ask your Councillors to look into this matter.........

Saturday, May 29, 2010

plane wreck update

Reports indicate that it was possibly a plane belonging to Atleo Air.........

May 29 2010 Plane Wreck

Reports of a plane wreck by catface !! will have more info as available

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May 26,2010

R.I.P. Patricia Tieleman

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

May 14,2009

Sorry for the lack of posts.....been dealing with some family matters.....seems that there has been an extension granted on the rock walls.....some surveying being done....I'll try to have more information soon....no word on the Olympic costs yet....I'm sure there will be some spin put on it.....thanks for checking in.....

Monday, May 3, 2010

may 3 2010

sorry I don't have much to report.....I've been informed that Olympic O-zone expenses might not be available until June !!! I hope to have some other stories up soon.....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cox Bay Rock walls April 27

The Westerly News reports that the rock walls are in trespass and will have to be removed by May 10th........

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Olympic costs April 20 , 2010

Some loyal readers have asked what the total cost of the District's "O-Zone" Olympic party was.......good question......I put in a request for the info this afternoon and will have the numbers for you as soon as possible......

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gentleman Gene Kiniski RIP

Sad to announce the passing of Gene Kiniski yesterday.....not really Tofino news but I have fond memories of having a drink or two with Gene at his bar in Point Roberts Wash. RIP......

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

rock wall update april 14 2010

An interesting letter at www.westcoaster.ca I was unable to attend the april 13 council meeting but there is a good report on the westcoaster site.I did receive a report that a long time Cox Bay campsite owner was present at the meeting.....

Friday, April 9, 2010

cox bay info

comprehensive beach planning

Washington's Shoreline Management Act

Washington's Shoreline Management Act (SMA) recognizes the importance of protecting and preserving the ecological function of shorelines and natural resources but also recognizes the value of shorelines for human use. Therefore, under the SMA, local governments must develop Shoreline Master Plans to balance land use and preservation within 200 feet of the shore. The local Shoreline Master Plans must be consistent with statewide guidance and be updated regularly. The state's amended Shoreline Master Program Guidelines Rule, which was adopted in December 2003, requires Shoreline Master Plans to ensure "no net loss" of the shoreline's ecological function. The Shoreline Master Plans must also include a system for classifying the shoreline into six specific environmental designations (Natural, Rural Conservancy, Aquatic, High-Intensity, Urban Conservancy, and Shoreline Residential) and a map of the shoreline showing the boundaries for each designation. Environmental designations are based on the level and type of development present, the significance of shoreline resources in the area, the suitability of the area for development (e.g. Is it prone to erosion?), and whether or not it is located within a designated growth management area (an area where development is encouraged).

The type of environmental designation then dictates how much and what type of development and land use(s) are allowed, including what type of shoreline stabilization structures (if any) are allowed. For example, the statewide Shoreline Management Plan Guidance states that "natural" areas are relatively pristine stretches of shoreline with little shoreline modification or hardening. Some low-intensity, single-family residential development, agricultural and forestry activities using sustainable practices can be permitted. However, no structural shoreline stabilization or significant removal of riparian vegetation is allowed. "Rural conservancy" areas are slightly more developed than "natural" areas, however, new land uses should not substantially degrade the shoreline or its ecological function. Structural shoreline stabilization techniques are only allowed if there is a demonstrated need to protect existing development and "softer" stabilization approaches are not feasible.

Local governments use these state guidelines to develop more specific standards for shoreline development within their Shoreline Master Plans. For example, Bainbridge Island's 1996 Special Area Management Plan, which incorporates their shoreline plan, prohibits revetments and bulkheads in natural and aquatic conservancy areas. The Plan also stipulates that hardened shorelines are only permitted within the other designations after non-structural stabilization techniques are proven ineffective. In addition, for rural conservancy and shoreline residential areas, revetments and bulkheads are only allowed if another bulkhead exists within 100 feet of the proposed structure. If there are no existing bulkheads in the area, a new bulkhead is not permitted.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

cox bay 2012 ???

more rock wall stuff april 8 2010

The plot thickens.....according to sources in the Cox Bay area a village employee approved the building of the rock walls.....apparently they didn't check with other staff about development permits.....an excellent story is featured at the Westcoaster.ca site.
No one will dispute the quality of construction of these walls as the ones at Chesterman's Beach have been in place for many years......virtually all of Chesterman's Beach is now armoured.....at Cox Bay only the Pacific Rim Resort property and the section of Pacific Rim Park are not behind some kind of wall........the Pacific Rim Resort property is eroding badly in some parts.....these walls work so well to prevent erosion that the adjoining properties often become more vulnerable.......I've got a call in to the owner of Pacific Rim Resort and will have their comments as they become available.......
In February of 2003 The Department of Fisheries and Oceans asked the District of Tofino to arrange a meeting between BC Agriculture and Lands Branch,DFO and the District of Tofino to discuss the erosion at Chesterman's Beach and suggested that the District of Tofino should consult with a Coastal Engineer.......

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

more rock wall action !

this wall extends to the northwest from the
public access at 1431 Pacific Rim Highway

Cox Bay Rock Walls April 7 ,2010

Good afternoon.....DFO Tofino confirmed that they were informed about the rock walls at Cox Bay. They do not issue approval or permits......TheBC Agriculture and Lands branch requires permits if the rock walls extend on to the intertidal zone......at the time of writing they didn't know of any permits issued......
The District of Tofino requires a Development Permit if the work is taking place in a Development Permit Zone. The resorts on Cox Bay are in this zone.At the time of writing there were no Development Permits issued.........I hope this clarifies what is required in the way of permits........

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

cox bay rock wall pic


Cox Bay Rock Walls April6,2010

Sad to see new rock walls going up at Cox Bay.....what was one of the most beautiful beaches on the coast is rapidly becoming one of the ugliest.....while many communities are moving towards innovative forms of erosion control , three of the resorts on Cox Bay are utilizing techniques right out of the Stone Age !!! Please check www.greenshores.ca for modern erosion control methods......Greenshores had made a presentation to Tofino District a couple of years ago...too bad these resorts didn't pay attention to the recommendations.......
Many surfers and beachcombers have noticed the changes to the beachscape at Cox Bay......perhaps it is just coincidence that this has happened at the same time as the rock walls have gone up. Extensive erosion has been noted at the Pacific Rim Resort property which along with Parks Canada are the only natural shorelines remaining in Cox Bay.....

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Higher sewer rates coming!!!!

http://www2.canada.com/westerly/news/story.html?id=45460003-5703-4615-a341-4e31746af961

Westerly News reports that Bob Long says to expect higher sewer bills in the future !!! Unfortunately, I don't think this is a cruel April Fool's Day joke.....While towns across Canada have received grants for sewer and water under the Infrastructure Stimulus program and towns across BC have used the Towns for Tomorrow grants for infrastructure upgrades we are being told to expect higher sewer bills. It should be noted that Tofino is using the Towns for Tomorrow grant to beautify the North Chesterman's Beach parking lot.....the plan will actually reduce the number of parking spots.........
It's too bad that the District of Tofino didn't secure some grant financing BEFORE entering into agreements to accept sewage from Esowista and Pacific Rim Park......

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Secret meetings !

Hello, sorry for the lack of posts....I've been trying to find out about the DCC committee but all the meetings are held in secret.....it should be a public process but I guess they have something to hide......the Development Cost Charges as imposed now are illegal as they are based on the District of Tofino going to Kennedy Lake for water......they have to be reconfigured......ask your council or committee members why they are meeting in secret.....it is as bad as this council which goes into "in camera " secret meetings all the time......not since the Nixon era have I seen this kind of paranoia !!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Giving credit

Have to give full credit to Councillor Ashton for generating more publicity for Tofino than the O-zone and Tsunami warnings combined......I got calls and emails from all over the globe in response to his proposed franchise ban !! Well done ! and at zero cost to to the taxpayer !!! The story was picked up by all major news services and received lots of attention across North America......

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hooters in Tofino

It seems that the new anti-franchise stance taken by Tofino council may put on hold the rumoured Hooters Restaurant in Tofino....this is another issue that promises to divide the community.....regardless it is good to hear councillors voicing their opinions in spite of the gag law.....
Happy to report that Tofino is actively working on a liquid waste management plan......I haven't been able to get any details on the agreement by Tofino to accept sewage from Pacific Rim National Park.....I'll post them as soon as available.....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

march 9 2010

Sorry for the lack of news I was away for a few days.....interesting to see that Tofino is going to be accepting sewage from Pacific Rim Park !! I'm surprised that the park would want its sewage pumped raw into the waters of Clayoquot Sound !! I'll try to get a copy of the agreement between the district and the park as soon as possible......Looks like the war on vacation rentals has fizzled and it will be business as usual........a new war has been declared on franchise businesses in Tofino !! just heard Councillor Ashton on CBC radio speaking on the proposed ban !! details to follow

Saturday, February 27, 2010

tsunami Advisory update

Please check www.tofino.ca for updates to the Tsunami advisory ......updates will also be broadcasted on CHMZ 90.1 FM

Tsunami Advisory

Tsunami advisory posted for BC coast......please stay tuned......it is supposed to arrive about 3 this afternoon .......

Friday, February 26, 2010

water system update

I just had a tour of the new water treatment plant at Sharp Rd. It is nearing completion and should be operational soon....The wiring etc. is being done by Anchor Cove Electrical...they will be able to monitor the plant and Tofino's water system by computer.Camera equipment will also be installed on Meares Island to monitor the reservoirs located there......

Monday, February 22, 2010

chestermans beach parking lot

some trees cut down at north chesterman's beach......don't know if this means work is starting on the $400,000.00 parking lot beautification project....I'll try to find out if the grant money came through.....oh, wait....the district office is closed in the afternoon.......maybe someone knows ?? > please write in....thanks

Saturday, February 20, 2010

new district hiring ??

Persistent rumours of more high priced help at the DISTRICT OF TOFINO......a new position to oversee District staff ! If you have any info please update me.....thanks,Ralph

Mayor Fraser goes surfing !!


Friday, February 19, 2010

more on vacation rentals

The first Vacation Rental I can recall was on Chesterman's Beach.....sometime around 1980.......nobody really gave it much thought........in 1996 the big issue was Bed and Breakfast.....I lost the election to Scott Fraser who ran on the Bed and Breakfast ticket......nobody seems to think Bed and Breakfast is an issue anymore...perhaps because it's provincially regulated......I think......does anyone have an idea as to how to to deal with the issue of Vacation Rentals ??

Vacation Rentals

Good morning, lots of interest in the Vacation Rental issue.A quick check of the VRs listed on the net showed that most are operating illegally.....nothing seems to have happened after the dramatic 2008 raid on a local VR management company.....Council has changed the rules governing VRs many times....they currently require a caretaker suite in each VR......some owners spent thousands of dollars to put caretaker suites in their units while others continued to operate illegally......now many of the caretaker suites are being rented out as VRs.......perhaps someone could please comment as to how Vacation Rentals are regulated in Ucluelet,Whistler or SaltSpring Island ?? I think everyone involved would like to see some certainty with regards to this issue........

Thursday, February 18, 2010

resignations

sources have confirmed the resignations of two top members of the Tofino Emergency Preparedness group.....details to follow soon.....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ukee blues

While Ukee pays less for water and DCCs it looks like they'll be facing a tax increase.....a 7% increase is being recommended by District of Ucluelet staff......more later.....

Mayor Fraser goes surfing !!

Mayor John Fraser was shown surfing at the O-zone in the Vancouver Sun yesterday !! Mayor Fraser, a long time critic of the surf community has apparently had a change of heart and has embraced the sport !! Glad to see this and I hope other councillors will support surfing in the community........I'll try to get an image up soon.....

More resignations !!

District of Tofino staff would not confirm or deny two high level resignations from the Tofino Emergency Preparedness Committee.......I will try to contact persons involved and will print an update......

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tofino Housing Corporation Chairman resigns !!

Jim Schwartz has resigned from the Tofino Housing Corporation ! Mr. Schwartz said in a telephone interview that the THC has become no more than an advisory committee to council and that he saw no reason to stay on. There has been a major shift in the housing situation in Tofino since the THC was formed .....virtually every new home has been built with a secondary suite and many Tofino houses have been bought as staff accomodation units.......a check of Westcoaster.ca rental listings show a wide variety of housing available.......

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tofino Trivia : nicknames

Lots of requests for Tofino Trivia......not political trivia but a general category.....comment with your answers.....most correct answers gets a free Lava Lamp
1.what was Beef's real name ?
2.what is Ratso's real name ?
3.what is Robert Robert's nickname ?
4.how did Penicillin Penny get her nickname ?
5.what was Derek Russel's nickname ?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tofino Underground Media

Just got a copy of Volume 1 of On the Rocks....Tofino Underground Media.....I'm usually supportive of Underground papers but these guys make a scathing personal attack on Adam Buskard.....this is totally inappropriate.....please raise your level of journalism out of the gutter ! If you are going to publish you should put your name to your paper.....let's hope Volume 2 shows some improvement.......

Friday, February 12, 2010

Stump Dump Campground proposed!!

Tofino council is seriously looking at putting in a campground at the Stump Dump !! You can view the report from Don McKinnon on the District's website !! I'm glad to see that council has its priorities straight.....most people I talk to aren't concerned with water rates,high taxes , lack of sewer treatment or the Dccs ! they want a campsite at the Dump !! I'm a traditionalist.....I like to camp at Tonquin Park or at Poole's but maybe a camping trip to the dump would be fun ! When we were kids we would hunt rats and throw rocks at bears at the six mile pit......back then it was the town landfill......many of my old cars are buried there......
Lots of interest over the Vacation Rental Wars !! please keep your comments civil as I have been unable to publish most of them......emotions run high with regards to this issue ! I've tried to get some background details on the proposed bylaw but my contacts are all at the O-Zone party in Vancouver.....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

War on Bed and Breakfast and Vacation Rentals !!!

Proposed bylaws from the District of Tofino will declare war on Bed and Breakfast and Vacation Rental operations that are not run by their owners. If Bylaw 1109 becomes law it will require owners to run the B & B or Vacation Rental whereas existing law allows for a manager or caretaker to look after operations. A large percentage of VRs and B&Bs are owned by non-residents......you'll find the proposed changes at this site : http://tofino.fileprosite.com/contentengine/launch.asp?ID=1856 .....you'll find it under Regular Council Packages Feb.9 2010......it's at the bottom of the page.....your comments please....

DCC Committee chosen

The new DCC Committee has been chosen ! a good selection made by council.......let's hope they can get the DCCs on existing lots removed.........Some changes coming to the Vacation Rental industry.....I'll have a full report later today once I get a copy of the new bylaw.......

Saturday, February 6, 2010

http://www.bclocalnews.com/vancouver_island_central/ladysmithchronicle/news/83313437.html
Check out the link above......Ladysmith took a common sense approach to affordable housing and made some money at the same time......might work here ?? Apparently the Tofino Housing Corporation is going to be run by the District of Tofino Council instead of the Corporation's Board of Directors......let me see......the same people that charge $18,000.00 for DCCs,$5000.00 for sewer and water connections and outrageous prices for water are going to look after affordable housing ?? makes sense !
If you haven't volunteered for the DCC committee please do so.....the District has extended the deadline for volunteering.......

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

stranger than fiction

Good afternoon.....seems that it is true......the Lady Rose is coming to Tofino......Jamie Bray was on CBC this morning explaining the concept......nobody seems to know what the DCCs are on a boat.....we'll have to see council's reaction to this one !! Brings back memories of the boatique !!
more soon......

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jan. 28 2009

Good evening, I have volunteered to sit on the District of Tofino Development Cost Charge committee...hopefully council can be convinced to repeal the legislation that imposed these ridiculous charges on existing lots.....anyone interested can volunteer by contacting Carol Gagne at gagne@tofino.ca
Thanks to Mayor John Fraser for meeting with Parks Canada about establishing a multi-use path in the park.....it would be great if the path went at least as far as Long Beach.....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Jan. 27 , 2009

Good morning, sorry for the lack of reports......on the DCC issue....the DCCs are still under review.....apparently the district will allow you to build without paying the $18,000.00 charge if you enter into an agreement to pay whatever amount they arrive at after the review.....some builders are entering into these agreements while others are more wary......
In the Koers engineering report it states that : " DCCs for single family residential development would be collected at the subdivision stage"
I was at the meeting where this bylaw was discussed and it was presented there that the DCCs would not apply to existing residential lots......somehow this was changed when the bylaw was approved......it would be very simple for council to amend the bylaw to exempt existing single family residential lots ......

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti relief effort

I know this isn't local politics but if you have any spare money please consider making a donation to the Red Cross or one of the other organizations helping in Haiti. Go to www.cbc.ca for a list of groups helping in Haiti....thanks,Ralph

Thursday Jan 14 2009

Sorry I don't have an update on the Pacific Sands development.....I was unable to attend the meeting.....I'll try to get some info from them......
Just spoke to Jim Schwartz of the Tofino Housing Corporation.....apparently matters concerning the THC were discussed at a secret council meeting (in camera) .....no information as to the status of the THC was made available to Mr. Schwartz or the public.......as it is now after 1pm I won't be able to ask at the District Office.......if anyone knows please write in....

Saturday, January 9, 2010

January 9, 2010

Seems there won't be a byelection afterall......the public washrooms at Cox Bay have been closed for several weeks.......don't know if this is a cost-cutting measure or a technical issue......

Friday, January 8, 2010

January 8, 2010

Good morning.....assessments are out.....the general concensus in Tofino is that property values have dropped considerably.....is this the effect of the high DCCs and water rates ?? Is it from a lack of confidence in a regime that prefers to fund parking lot beautification instead of water infrastructure......???
Kudos to the Public Works dept. for fixing the ramp at the Whiskey Dock.....
Nobody seems to know the status of the Tofino Housing Corporation......hundreds of thousands of tax dollars spent and now there is an oversupply of rental housing in the private sector.....
A new strata plan is being proposed for the Pacific Sands property at Cox Bay....this is good news as it will trigger section 75(1)(C)(i) of the Land Title Act which provides for public access to the waterfront........I'll have a full report on Tuesday afternoon....
If there are any stories that you feel need publishing please forward them to me......thanks,Ralph

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Jan.2 2010

Happy New Year !! not much news in Tofino over the holidays......stay tuned