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NEWSMAKERS: Not hard to find newsmakers in Nanaimo in 2013

Five people help make headlines in 2013. Clockwise from top left: Kennedy Baker, Michelle Stilwell, Jeff Solomon, Ted Swabey and Doug White. - News Bulletin file
Five people help make headlines in 2013. Clockwise from top left: Kennedy Baker, Michelle Stilwell, Jeff Solomon, Ted Swabey and Doug White.
— image credit: News Bulletin file

It wasn’t hard for the newsroom at the News Bulletin to find five people who made a significant impact on events in Nanaimo in 2013.

The six of us brought our own lists of notable people to the table and we proceeded to discuss how each person’s actions or decisions made news in the past year – and how what they did would alter the city for years to come. From there, we reduced our list to the five people in today’s issue: Kennedy Baker, Ted Swabey, Jeff Solomon, Michelle Stilwell and Chief Doug White.

But these five people were not the only people to affect the news cycle this year. The following people also made their mark on the Harbour City in 2013.

Brunie Brunie – There is no cause that’s too small or too big for Brunie Brunie. She runs in almost every election – including the provincial election in May as an independent candidate for the Nanaimo riding – and protested the development of a parcel of land near Linley Valley.

Sasha Angus – The head of Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation was a continual source for news stories with the announcement of a conference centre hotel, a potential downtown Nanaimo to downtown Vancouver foot ferry, plus numerous studies on the economics in the Nanaimo region.

Matthew (Snoop) Blokker – The longtime coach of the Vancouver Island Raiders junior football team made it yet another national championship in 2013, falling one win short of his fourth national title. The Raiders organizations has its work cut out for it as it tries to replace Blokker, as the beloved coach moves on to coach the Calgary Colts in 2014.

Michelle Corfield – A 30-year lease of the Nanaimo Boat Basin by a private company was immediately met with opposition, most of it organized by Corfield, a commercial fisher in Nanaimo. After Corfield raised questions over access by not only commercial fishers, but also Protection Islanders and citizens to the public marina, opposition forced Northwest Pacific Marine Group to abandon the deal with Nanaimo Port Authority.

Naomi Beth Wakan – Nanaimo’s first poet laureate was announced in 2013, with Gabriola Island author Wakan selected. She presented her first poem on the Harbour City during a council meeting in November.

Those are the people we saw as newsmakers in 2013. WIth some of the year’s issues still unresolved, there’s a good chance many of these people will be under consideration as newsmakers less than 12 months from now.

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