Water Cooler: Downtown revitalization, disc golf versus volleyball & source of COVID-19 infections | NanaimoNewsNOW

NanaimoNewsNOW: The placement of the courts has turned out to be less than ideal for all parties involved. Volleyballers are subject to frisbees flying and disc golfers had some of their extra area taken away. But in a city tight on space, compromises have to be made.

The proposal to remove some parking at Bowen Park, near the volleyball courts, to add extra sand and nets is interesting as it will theoretically expand the sport in Nanaimo.As noted in the story, major events more commonly use the Parksville facility which boasts over two dozen courts and can handle large-scale competitions like the BC Summer Games which Nanaimo wants to host again.Is the solution just a big net? What liability does something like that come with in terms of climbing or posing other hazards? Do the beach volleyball courts move entirely? City staff will explore all options in due time in a bid to find common ground between two growing sports in the region.– – –Jaime B., Nanaimo: Why are we not told why Central Vancouver Island has so many Covid infections? Who are these people and where are they coming from? Is it one community or many?NanaimoNewsNOW: Since the outset of the pandemic, the BC Government and public health have been very quiet on exactly where new COVID-19 cases are cropping up. During 2020, Island Health released their own dashboard which divided the health authority into three regions and provided a better, daily look at new cases.The BC Centre for Disease Control breaks it down further, by local health service delivery area, on a weekly basis. Greater Nanaimo is one service area, Oceanside is its own. Both are part of the “Central Vancouver Island” region which encompasses Nanaimo, Gabriola Island, Oceanside, Alberni, Tofino and Ucluelet.Data from the BC CDC shows cases spiking in the Alberni-Clayoquot service area between Oct. 19-25, with a case rate of 36 per 100,000 people. It’s the highest rate in Island Health for the time period and well ahead of Greater Nanaimo (13 per) and Oceanside (five per).Some may be linked to an outbreak at Tofino General Hospital, which was recently declared over by Island Health, however exact specifics on each case’s origin aren’t precisely known.Island Health’s dashboard shows roughly 66 per cent of all cases in the last two weeks were linked to an existing confirmed case or cluster. Another 26 per cent were exposed somewhere in the province.– – –Catrin B., Nanaimo: I live and use downtown Nanaimo. I have seen how a building with commercial space below and condos above can revitalize an area. E.g. Port Moody. In my opinion, that concept would help to,revitalize our downtown and provide much needed housing in our area.NanaimoNewsNOW: Plans for the Terminal Ave. and Commercial St. redesigns are still very much in the early concept stages.We’ve already seen some changes from the City’s initial designs with a proposed public square at the former Jean Burns building site deemed not the best use of space. What happens to the property next is still very much up in the air but will form a major piece of revitalization plans.The Jean Burns site is one of the most noticable eyesores in Nanaimo’s downtown, completing a stretch of underused, vacant or abandoned properties which starts up near Comox Rd. with the vacant former White Spot and the burned Husky gas station.Time will tell how the area shapes up, but it is a massive undertaking. A committee meeting on Monday, Oct. 25 showed how intertwined various plans are with plans to redesign Terminal Ave. contingent on direction for Commercial St. which will influence how to reinvigorate Diana Krall Plaza.Join the conversation. Submit your letter to NanaimoNewsNOW and be included on The Water Cooler, our letters to the editor feature.info@nanaimonewsnow.comOn Twitter: @nanaimonewsnow

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