Thursday, June 30, 2011

Council meeting report June 30 2011
The Westerly News Council report.Seems council will have to hire a consultant before they think about changing the water rates !!!
There also seems to be a problem building a washroom at North Chesterman's Beach......perhaps they are having trouble finding a suitable architect ??

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Guest Editorial by Garth Cameron June 29,2011

Ok well I'm inclined to think along the same lines as someone else on this blog. Any more big commercial properties that come on line for nightly rentals will steal away from the little guy trying to make ends meet in order to live here. In my opinion the Shore Dev. should not be allowed nightly rentals. I know tourism is slow this year because of many things including the bad rap this town is getting (we cannot afford this) I feel it is really time to start dealing with the forest fire that is raging behind us, to name a few... how about the water, sewer, DCC’s, or how about the families or the businesses in town that actually employ the people that live here. Put on the back burner those issues that can wait. (Municipal campground, affordable housing just to name a few) I also feel we need the right people in the right positions in order to make the District run like a business and be helpfull not a hindrance to those trying to make a living here. I cannot help but feel that all the people that made this town once liveable are being swallowed up; including my own family. All I hear is more more more... bigger better...yes there is room for balanced growth, but the key word here is balanced. All the new empty rooms that we can build or offer as nightly rentals or new businesses will not offset the publicity of “highest room rates, most expensive dining, highest water/sewer rates in the country, un co-operative staff, DCC’s ” I sat on council in 2000 and when I visited our water source back then I almost fell off the dam, the comments that came out of my mouth were “is this it? Is this all we got?” true that our water sources have increased since then but we as a community are nowhere near out of the woods not by a long shot. I’m throwing my hat into the ring for elections this fall and I’m open to any comments that you may have positive or negative I really want to hear from you.

Garth Cameron

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

sewer problems June 28, 2011

There is a horrible smell in the sewer system ! Tourists were gagging as they passed by the First St. pump station !! While the district squanders thousands on consultants the stench gets worse !! More free consulting from TofinoNews....fix the sewer system if you want to promote tourism.Perhaps the district should compensate those businesses that are suffering from this fiasco...

Tofino: A Consultant's Paradise Update June 28,2011

In spite of many free consulting offers the Downtown Re-vitalization Committee has chosen to hire City Spaces Consulting !! You may recall that City Spaces were involved as consultants for the wildly successful Tofino Housing Corporation's Subsidized Social Housing Project !!!
Here's some more free consulting from TofinoNews : there is a large pothole between Campbell and Neil on 2nd st (by the telus property) also there are some drunk guys in the alley behind the liquor store (the former Alley Way Cafe) as usual no charge.

Water Levy

Water rates will be discussed at today's council meeting....meeting at 9am at council chambers.....vacation rentals are also to be discussed.....

Monday, June 27, 2011

RedCan Gourmet open tomorrow

Tim May just called to say that Redcan Gourmet is opening tomorrow.Hours are from 11 to 6 . Redcan Gourmet is on Industrial Way by Lutz's fish plant.

Parking Meeting Tonight at 7 pm at Council Chambers

Try to attend tonight's parking meeting ! Certain council members are pushing to bring back Pay Parking amongst other things in their ongoing "War on Tourism".Certainly no parking problems this year as there are hardly any tourists here.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Parks Canada Parking Lot Gates June 25,2011

Many parks users were trying to park at Long Beach early this morning but the gates were locked.The same was true at Florencia Bay.Perhaps Parks Canada could open the gates earlier ??? Please ?? Many people want to go for a walk on the beach or go surfing before work......while I'm on the subject....Parks Canada won't allow any parking at Green Point although there is a large parking lot there.....if you want to use the beach there you have to rent a campsite !!!
Park officials have said they want to encourage wider use of the park and then they lock us out.....furthermore their pay parking sucks !!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

All Clear.Tsunami Warning Cancelled

To: U.S. West Coast, Alaska, and British Columbia coastal regions
From: NOAA/NWS/West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center
Subject: Tsunami Warning Cancellation #3 issued 06/23/2011 at 8:19PM AKDT

The Tsunami Warning is canceled for the coastal areas from Unimak Pass, Alaska (80 miles NE of Dutch Harbor) to Amchitka Pass, Alaska (125 miles W of Adak).

NO destructive tsunami has been recorded, and NO tsunami danger exists along the coasts of the U.S. west coast states, Alaska, and British Columbia. Local authorities can assume all clear upon receipt of this message.

At 7:10 PM Alaskan Daylight Time on June 23, an earthquake with preliminary magnitude 7.3 occurred 20 miles/32 Km southeast of Amukta Pass, Alaska . (Refer to the United States Geological Survey for official earthquake parameters.)

Pacific coastal regions outside California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska should refer to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center messages for information on the event.

This will be the last West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center message issued for this event. To repeat, NO tsunami warning, watch or advisory is in effect for the U.S. West coast states, Alaska, and British Columbia. See the WCATWC web site for basic tsunami information, safety rules, and a tsunami travel time map and table. (NOTE: Travel time maps and tables indicate forecasted times only, not that a wave was generated.)

Tsunami details 9:09 pdt

A major earthquake of 7.4 magnitude hit in the Pacific Ocean Thursday 172 kilometres east of Atka, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands, at a depth of about 40 kilometres, and a tsunami warning was in effect for coastal Alaska, warning agencies said.

A second quake of the same magnitude hit in the same vicinity and at the same depth a half-minute later, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

"A Tsunami warning is now in effect which includes the coastal areas of Alaska from Unimak Pass, Alaska (129 kilometres northeast of Dutch Harbor) to Amchitka Pass, Alaska (200 kilometres west of Adak),'' the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said.

The center monitors tsunami risk only for the west coast of North America from the Mexican border to Alaska.

A tsunami warning means all coastal residents in the warning area who are near the beach or in low-lying regions should move immediately to higher ground and away from harbors and inlets, including those sheltered directly from the sea.

Earthquakes of this size magnitude are known to generate tsunamis. If a tsunami has been generated, the waves will first reach Adak, Alaska, at 8:12 p.m.

Tsunami Update #2

At this point there is no tsunami warning for the Tofino area......check back for updates....thanks,Ralph

Tsunami Update June 23,2011

Alaska earthquake

A major earthquake has hit Alaska.A tsunami warning has been issued for some Alaskan areas. stay tuned for updates

Atleo Air Report from Transportation Safety Board

Film and Music at Maquinna Hotel !!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Downtown Re-vitalization has begun !!!!!

The pothole by Dave Bond's house has been repaired ! A big thank you to the Public Works crew.....I drove over it at least a dozen times and didn't feel a thing !!
The lesson learned is that you don't need high priced consultants to get things done !!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Free consulting for Downtown Re-Vitalization !!!

More free consulting from Tofinonews ! In our ongoing effort to keep consultant fees down , we advise that the sign in the above picture be placed in front of the tree where people might see always, no charge for consulting....please feel free to help out and post comments on Downtown Re-vitalization ! I saw a tourist hit the pothole by Dave Bond's house today....not a pretty sight...

Foreclosures June 21,2011

With the large number of foreclosures in Tofino one has to wonder how this will affect property prices and District of Tofino revenue. If these properties sell for bargain prices it could mark the beginning of a downward spiral in property taxes.The real estate market seems to be relatively slow here and a drop in assessments will have a dramatic effect on the district's finances. If the Cox Bay waterfront property sells for a low price,waterfront properties throughout the district will be in line for a correction.....
Another possible problem facing the district is a drop in water use. If we have a slow tourist season ,revenue from water sales will take a hit.....

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tsunami Siren Update ! June 20,2011

The Westerly News reports that Tofino's Tsunami Sirens will be operational by September.Mayor Fraser previously told CBC Radio that the sirens would be installed earlier this spring......Why was there such a rush to select the location ??

Tofino Council has defeated a motion that would see council meetings moved to the evening. Councilors Zilliken and Johns supported the time change while Ashton,Fraser and Fraser opposed the motion.

There is still an active pothole alert for Main St. by Dave Bond's house.Some TofinoNews readers have also reported potholes on the road to the community center.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tofino: A consultant's paradise !!!

While citizens fundraise to save the firehall , Councilor Donna Fraser announced that thirteen consulting companies have responded to a request for a study on downtown re-vitalization !! Let's make it fourteen. Tofinonews consulting will do it for free !!! Let's start by fixing this pothole by Dave Bond's house on Main St. and then proceed with resurfacing Main St. past the shore.Free consulting. No charge !!

Something for Free !!

Not often that something is free in Tofino so I thought I would post this ad .What would Dennis Singleton have thought about a free show at the Maquinna Hotel ??

Fundraiser to Save Firehall !! June 17,2011
Westerly News reports that Tofino Pharmacy is raffling off a bicycle in order to raise funds to save the firehall. The District of Tofino has allowed the firehall to fall into a state of disrepair......The bicycle can be seen at The Tofino Pharmacy...
Sources have told Tofinonews that the raffle is going to be expanded to provide some portable washrooms at the school ball fields.
All of this is great but it makes me wonder why we pay taxes if citizens have to take it upon themselves to maintain the District ??
Millions of dollars in the District accounts and we need a fundraiser for a porta-pottie at the school ? Please inform your councilors how you feel about the way they are running our village......
ps. still no washroom at North Chestermans parking lot.....

Monday, June 13, 2011

Canada Day Beer Garden !!

The Canada Day Beer Garden is up for discussion at tomorrow's Council meeting.9am at the District Office.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tsunami Sirens !!!

Mayor Fraser said on CBC Radio that the tsunami siren would be installed months ago.Exclusive photos obtained by Tofinonews show the sirens still in their shipping crates at the District of Tofino Public Works yard ! I guess the District is too busy building the Mayor's new office or hiring consultants for Downtown Re-Vitalization or running the sawmill to install the sirens !! sawlogs for the District sawmill can be seen directly behind the sirens and the sawmill itself can be seen under the white tarp in the background.Tourists are still looking in vain for a washroom at North Chestermans beach !!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Guest Editorial by Laird Salton June 9,2011

Tofino, Police State?

I was sitting on rock on an empty beach when bicycle cop Cpl. Andrew Waddell noticed from afar a can of beer beside me. He rode off and I put this can in my guitar case, to be discreet. I was strumming my guitar after work, alone in the sunshine, and rather enjoying my one beer. I was not drunk and nor did I have any other alcohol. Cpl. Waddell returned, dismounted and quickly scaled the rock, hand at his hip. I was startled. He demanded to search my belongings to find this beer can he’d glimpsed from 50 meters away. He leaned into me and yanked the can out from its spot, safely nestled at the bottom of my guitar bag. It was mostly empty but that did not stop him from giving me a $230 “Illegal Possession of Alcohol” ticket. I was finally protesting. This was unreasonable! True, I had this 50 ml of malty foam and I was technically guilty. But seriously, is this what these laws are for? I was minding my own business in the middle of nowhere FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD!

I decided to fight this ticket. When I arrived at Tofino Court, Cpl. Waddell took me aside and threatened me: he said that if I pleaded not-guilty he would be seeking a ban for me from Tofino parks and beaches and a more than doubling of the fine to $460. I was shaken and angry (some of you may be aware of my role organizing the Saturday Market). So Waddell wants me banished from the parks? I asked the Judge for an adjournment, thinking I need legal help to battle this absurdity. Was this dude for real?

It was around the time that Waddell searched and ticketed me that I started to hear stories coming from all directions about Waddell imposing similar and far worse situations upon both tourists and locals. You’ve probably heard some of them.

There are the teenagers given hundreds of dollars in fines for bicycle infractions. Meanwhile, I witnessed, on May 27th at 1:15 pm, Waddell ignore the stop sign at First & Campbell and almost run into Alistair and an elderly First Nation’s lady. Both had to jump out of the way of this speeding, yellow-clad man on a tricked-out bike. They were walking on the CROSSWALK over to Co-op. Alistair reeled back and said, “Whoa buddy!!!” The lady gave him a stink eye. I yelled from the peanut gallery, “Hey Waddell, you ran that stop sign and almost ran them over on the crosswalk.” Waddell circled briefly but didn’t go so far as to return to the scene of the crime. Forget about an apology. He completed his circle and rode off again, perhaps because Alistair was looking pretty mean by then too. She was still glowering and I was shaking my head.

There are the otherwise law-abiding Tofino staffers hauled away in hand cuffs, arrested and made to appear in court (and potentially for trials) for possessing one joint of marijuana. There are several such cases of very minor possession that Waddell is pursuing with vigour. I am personally aware of 5 cases so I can only assume there are more. Aren’t we past all that? Does not a BC majority, and growing number of police, support decriminalization of marijuana for several obvious reasons? (Like the failed war on drugs which has done nothing but line gangster’s pockets and criminalize harmless behaviour). So why are we watching bad, old movie clips from The South in the sixties? How inappropriate for Tofino. This is a place where people treat each other courteously with remarkable regularity. Oh sure, we’ve all seen something or someone go WAY-OVER THE-LINE (think Marky-Mark naked, wasted and hollering on Tonquin). However, generally, Tofino is a free and relaxed place where one doesn’t need their hand held to know how to play nice. That Waddell is bringing in these busts IS A JOKE. And now his jokes are on all of us because he’s clogging our over-burdened, justice system with this petty junk.

There’s the tourist couple, sipping a glass of wine on Chesterman’s watching alarmed as Waddell roars up on a quad to give them $230 fines. Bye-bye romantic sunset, here comes motorman with a gun. These shaken folks promised they would not choose Tofino again to spend their hard-earned thousands on a “vacation.” I’ve heard so many stories like this one that if I were more interested than I am about Tofino’s long-term economic success, like maybe a Tofino Councilor should be, I’d take this man Waddell off the beaches, as in I-want-this-on-my-desk-yesterday.

I heard a depressing and silly tale the other day. I haven’t yet been able to substantiate much of it. If it’s true, Waddell is reaching new heights. There was a woman, Tofino staffer, hauled out of her car the other day and roughly handled for drinking and driving. Here’s the rub: she doesn’t drink alcohol. EVER. Waddell was sure she was drunk because he’s an experienced expert. Maybe faulty equipment was involved. The car was impounded. This man must be stopped! I can at least thank him for constantly motivating me to challenge his actions and bring them to Tofino’s attention.

On a light note, Crazy Ron told me a story that I’ll not relay verbatim due to the many expletives. Ron is indeed a talented storyteller. The German Motor Cycle Gang that rode through last weekend, perhaps you saw the flags, were stopped by Cpl. Waddell. Their bikes were lined up in row and he made each one produce their licenses and insurance. Safety checks, I guess. These bikers were of the my-BMW-costs-a-lot and my-Euros-help-your-Town variety. Waddell was probably fresh from watching the old movie “The Wild Ones.” You just can’t make this stuff up.

All of the above stories make me a little angry, a little sad, and a little tired. Of course Waddell is using laws that exist and many of you readers won’t sympathize much with me or others being put through his wringer. Maybe you also buy into Waddell’s fundamentalist worldview that he’s saving us from ourselves. Perhaps you agree he needs to aggressively lead us in handcuffs toward the guiding light of safety. We were, after all, consuming beer and weed in public places (albeit in secluded spots living the Tofino life of love, creativity, and freedom). However, being harassed by Waddell’s hostile actions makes us feel like victims. Fortunately, it isn’t just us that reject Waddell’s tactics. Many reasonable people believe RCMP officers should use discretion and common sense when applying the law.

There is an even more troubling element to these stories that I’m just now becoming educated about.

Tofino Mayor & Council apparently want these absurd arrests to happen. That’s right: John, Donna, Michael, Gordon, Dorothy, Rose and Stephen want these nice kids, workers at Tofino businesses, to be hauled away handcuffed, man-handled, fined, put into court and convicted of crimes which will prevent their travel and damage their lives substantially. All for one gram of pot! They also want tourists to be given fines for weed and ale. Wine drinkers at the beach are in their sights. I don’t know for sure Council wants these outcomes because I’ve yet to ask them. I’m going by what Cpl. Waddell has told me. He is using Mayor & Council’s names and insists his hands are tied. They are telling him to behave like this, he assures me. I doubt this can be true. It seems unlikely that two jurisdictions upward, over at the federal RCMP, they are being micromanaged by Tofino Council. I do not yet believe that Council realizes the real damage caused by encouraging one driven, misguided officer applying their community policing directives in his unreasonable way. To sort all this out, I intend to find out. I will request to present to Mayor & Council. I will advise them about the economic costs and diminishing quality of life associated with making Tofino a police state. I will ask, what do you intend to do about it now that you know about these unintended consequences? That is if they are unintended.

What of this story am I missing? There must be more. I’ve heard that maybe it has something to do with first profiling and then running people out of Town. I suspected this when I heard from a friend who drove out to Tofino for this past May long-weekend. The RCMP were stopping every vehicle and demanding to know whether the occupants had rooms to stay in. Can’t someone go to Tofino to look for a job? Aren’t visitors allowed to make a day-trip to Tofino?

Maybe it is about making everything prohibitively expensive and unwelcoming for most of us so this Peninsula can be divvied into elite, gated zones. Where are regular, working peeps going to live then? Will there only be staff accommodations? Should my fianc├łe and I start a family here? Like so many couples before us, these are questions we wrestle with. Maybe magical Tofino isn’t so magical anymore. Perhaps we’re past the point of no return, forever destined to be just another tourism town catering to wealthy visitors and absentee owners. Yet, if you’ve scared so many of the regular tourists away, especially the families burned out on high-cost Tofino with tickets and NO FIRES (the most awesome way for families, and a big draw for Tofino, to warm up and enjoy the cold beach at dusk), who exactly is going to fill the hotel rooms? They’re doing a great job of using Waddell to scare the living daylights out of marijuana users and everyone else targeted. Who, then, will be left in Tofino? Well-healed tourists will need their toilets cleaned by somebody, of course. Poole’s Land might still be there to accommodate low-cost labour, like he’s done for the last three decades.

I’ve been spending time in Tofino my whole life. I’ve noticed that every year for the last ten, less and less visitors come in summertime. I know this because of how long it takes to turn onto the Highway. In 2002 it was six minutes, a never-ending line of cars in both directions. Nowadays I’ll wait for a few seconds at the most. Far less people, you see. Do the math forward into the future and it doesn’t look good for certain development plans. It looks downright discouraging for small businesses.

Please don’t let Tofino become a police state. If holding Cpl. Andrew Waddell and Tofino Mayor & Council to account is what’s required to make real changes to bad policies, then rise up Tofino and don’t let this November be another oh-I-forgot-to-vote moment. If you or someone you know would make a good candidate for Council, put yourself forward or encourage them to do so. And don’t forget to make it down to that courtroom below the Legion on July 4th, 9 am. We get to watch Cpl. Waddell cross-examined by city lawyers who don’t like the way he behaves, and a presiding judge who might not view RCMP Waddell’s frivolous caseload so favourably.

God bless Van Isle and free Tofino!

Laird Salton

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Guest editorial by Dorothy Baert June 8 2011

Hi folks! All upset about the Mayor having an office? Not me. In fact I have been advocating for that and will also advocate for higher remuneration for the job too. Why is that? Well, last election nobody else ran for Mayor and the position was acclaimed- not very good for what is the closest thing we have to grassroots democracy - local government. I think it is time as a community that we say leadership matters and to show we mean it we will invest in and support it. If the person who is entrusted with that leadership role disappoints, then the electorate can act accordingly. But in the meanwhile if we say, take the job as a half time volunteer and quarter time paid, work out of your kitchen or your car, and suffer personal attacks that go beyond appropriate criticism, I don’t think we are sending a message that we appreciate or value what is entailed in this position. Regardless of how one feels about any person who is fulfilling the role, we must show regard and respect for the Office of Mayor. Otherwise, come November maybe no-one will run again. I will add that none of this is because I intend to run for the position of Mayor because I don’t, I won’t and that is decided.

As for the firehall I also heard one opinion expressed that it should be torn down but there is also the option that it be upgraded and restored. If you have strong feelings about either option, let them be known to the Downtown Vitalization Committee who are looking at the opportunities within and the values of the downtown.

I can be reached by email
or at any reasonable time 250 726 5565 cell

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New Office for Mayor Fraser !! june 7,2011

While Mayor Fraser said in the budget meeting that he didn't want much money spent on Firehall maintenance he seems to have no problem spending money on a new office for himself at the Municipal Hall !!!! No money for public works,no raise for district staff,no shuttle bus but the Mayor gets a new office !!! Doesn't surprise me one bit !! November is coming.....

A cautionary tale June 7,2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

Esowista sewer connection June 6,2011

The Esowista sewer connection should be online previously posted the park won't connect until Tofino decides to treat its sewage.....

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sewer Problems ??

Consistent and credible reports of problems with the main grinders for the sewer system !! Please report any "floaters" !! Please write in if you have any information.thanks,Ralph