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Nanaimo ranks among the few and the proud, says Canadian Taxpayers Federation B.C. director Jordan Bateman.

The city’s council has all but approved a zero per cent increase in property taxes this year, making it one of...

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We’ve got practical and pretty blogger projects that pack a payoff.

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DIY 6 Things to Ponder before starting

The DIY dilemma: should you call a pro, or try to do the work yourself? After all, it looks so simple on TV and the Internet. Think about this:

  1. Time is money.
    Doing the labor yourself will undoubtedly be less expensive than the labor costs for a professional, but don’t forget to factor in the value of your precious time.
  2. Can you spare the space?
    Some projects, like plumbing or flooring, may take entire rooms out of commission for the duration of the work. For example, if you’re re-tiling your bathroom, life’s certainly easier if you have another to use during the project. If not, hiring a pro who will complete the project faster (and cut down on how long you have to shower at the gym), may be a better option.
  3. Can you live with imperfection?
    Or will the slightly smudged corners on your not-quite-professional paint job drive you nuts?
  4. Unfinished DIY symphony.
    How’s your follow-through on projects? Do you tend to start with the best intentions only to leave piles of supplies alone for so long they become part of the decor? Be honest with yourself if you think the project may become a permanent item on your to-do list.
  5. What’s the worst that can happen?
    Demolishing a wall may seem straightforward (and therapeutic), but if that wall’s critical to the building’s structural integrity, or if there’s plumbing or wiring within, it can be a whole other story. Think about the cost (and physical risks) that could come from a mishap.
  6. Safety.
    Even if you have the time, tools and an idea of how to tackle the job, leave the following projects to a professional: asbestos removal, gas appliance repairs, anything connected to the main electrical line and roofing.
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Heavy, bulky items can be awkward to pack up and difficult to move. They also can be seen as big perks to potential buyers. If you’re willing to part with the items below, have your agent pitch them as unique features of your house.

  1. Basketball...
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MONDAY, FEB. 16 10 a.m. -noon Barsby Park Clean-up. Volunteers needed. Contact: Diana 250-753-2564.7

p.m. TheatreOne's Fringe Flicks presents 'Two Days, One Night', by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, with Oscar nominee Marion Cotillard. Avalon Theatre, $12,...

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10- 11 a.m. and 2-3 p.m. Country Club Centre Golden Years Day. Free goodies and coffee at Food Court, live entertainment with Howie Jamieson. 2 p.m.

5-9 p.m. The Nanaimo Flea Market is at 1630 East Wellington Rd., Legion Hall.

8 p.m....

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10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nanaimo Museum launches its feature exhibit, Ring of Fire: Canadians in the Pacific in WWII. Runs through Nov 15. for information, please call 250-753-1821 or visit nanaimomuseum.ca.

4-8 p.m. Friday Evening Market at...

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4-6:30 p.m. Bowen Road farmers market. Nanaimo's food-oriented weekly market promoting the 100 mile diet connects people with farmer, small-scale food processors and unique artisans. Located in the Beban Park Fairgrounds, 2300 Bowen...

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9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Vancouver Island Regional Library sponsors a Lego Big Build Event at Country Club Centre. During Summer Reading Club Registration, build Lego creations and check out the Lego big build whale on display until June...

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9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Children are invited to Country Club Centre to watch Robin Sather, Canada's only Lego certified professional, build a giant whale out of Lego.

6 p.m. 'Hi-Ho Mistahey!' is film by Alanis Obomsawin that profiles an activist...

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7:30 p.m. Ron James: 'Take no Prisoners' comedy show at the Port Theatre. $53. Tickets/more information: 250-754-8550.



3 -6 p.m. Shaw TV Nanaimo open house at 4316 Boban Drive. Free. More information/to RSVP: 250-760-1986....

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FRIDAY, APRIL 25 6:30 p.m. Author Nikki Van Schyndel discusses 'Becoming Wild' at Harbourfront Library. More information: caitlin-press. com/our-books/becoming-wild.

6:30 -8 p.m. West Coast Salish Kitchen Party at Painted Turtle Guesthouse. Traditional...

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5 p.m. The Canadian Home Builders Association's Suppliers' Night and Auction at the Coast Bastion Inn. Food, trade show, auction and entertainment. $35. Tickets or more information: www.chbacvi.com.

7 p.m. Lorelie Rozzano at the...

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10 a.m. -6 p.m. VIU Create: showcase of research and scholarly activities from VIU students. Building 300. More information: 250-753-3245 ext. 2704.

7 p.m. Composer, sound engineer Doug Blackley will demo acoustic technology and sound...

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9 -3 p.m. Help Fill a Dream Event at the Beban Park Soccer Fields. Free family event to raise awareness for Help Fill a Dream. Bouncy castle, face painting and other activities. More information: team.impact.lvi@gmail.com.

9:30 -4:30...

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11 -2 p.m. Kids Cooking Class in Lantzville at Costin Hall. $50/child. Ages 9 -12. More information: 250-619-6273.

7 p.m. WordStorm Spoken Word and Open Mic event at the Vault Cafe. $5. Reservations recommended. More information: 250-752-8618....

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9 -1:30 p.m. Nearly New Nanaimo Mom and Tot Swap and Shop at Country Club Centre. Free event. More information: 250-758-1102.

1 p.m Belly Dance Spring 2014 session begins today at the Departure Bay Activity Centre. The original core exercise....

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10 -11 a.m. CC Tiny Tots Playgroup at Country Club Centre. Between the Centre Court and Sport Mart. Free. More information: 250-758-1102.

5:30 p.m. Presented by Coastal Community Credit Union and the 'Nanaimo Daily News. 'Creating leadership...

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6 -11 p.m. Zonta Red Gala at Coast Bastion Inn. Buffet, live music, silent auction, 50/50 draws. $75. Proceeds go to the Heart and Stroke Foundation and Nanaimo Zonta Club service projects. Tickets: 250-758-2267.

7 p.m. Nanaimo Clippers...

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11:30 a.m. -1 p.m. The VIU Department of Anthropology and Anthropology Student Club present a free public lecture by Daryl Fedje from the University of Victoria. Fedje will speak about 'Sea Levels and Archaeology on the Northwest Coast'...

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