So, after thousands of man-hours contributed by concerned citizens to see the question of rezoning the Ashlu River through due process according to the law, and at great cost to the goodwill between neighbours, Ledcor a private, for-profit hydro power generation company has the audacity to reapply for the same rezoning permit less than a year after the decision was made. The efforts of our community to make wise choices have been dismissed with allusions to NIMBYism and statements such as "smaller communities tend to say no based on fear and uncertainty."
Now, the Sea to Sky corridor is situated at the edge of an eco-system, beside a heavily populated area and including a world class resort. We are aware of the delicacy of balance. Our municipal government is currently pursuing the option of wind-generated power; in ignoring the decision on the Ashlu, and given the slew of development applications filed by for-profit independent power projects, who is actually "holding up progress in the clean energy movement?"
Go for it, Mayor Ken
RE: Lets hear from people (Pique letters Dec. 8)
Ken, go for it. Ski with your pro patrol buddies; they will help you to keep your sanity and lead a balanced life. Whistler will appreciate having a healthy mayor.
Mayor needs a break
Everyone is entitled to a weekend including the mayor of Whistler! As we all know, ones days off may not necessarily fall on a weekend, just ask any mountain-, hotel-, store-, etc. employee in Whistler.
Cathy Jewett points out, the mayors position is not a Monday to Friday, 95 job and I think most everyone would agree with that.
We all like to spend our "weekends" doing things we enjoy and would resent having other people tell us how to spend our free time. Why do people assume they can tell the mayor what to do with "his free time?"
Conflict of interest? Give him credit! There was none when he worked for the mountain while sitting as a councillor. He has always worked very hard for Whistler and, Im sure, will continue to do so as our mayor even if he spends some of his "free time" on the mountain, doing what he loves.
So, go patrolling Ken and enjoy!
Dont confuse jobs
I will not object if Ken continues patrolling. All I would ask is that he be very careful not to confuse the two jobs. He probably couldnt take more politics to the mountain but he could do a bit of damage if he dropped a "bomb" at the Muni.
Considerations for council
As one of 3,761 voters for mayor, we all know that Ken received 1,769 votes, or 47 per cent of the 3,780 votes cast, representing 52 per cent of the 7,111 potential voters. This means that Ken received 47 per cent of the vote, from 52 per cent of the voting population, not exactly a mandate! I am concerned about this result, and the need for other voices to be heard!
I personally like Ken, and wish him success. I also think he could be a valuable on-mountain ambassador for Whistler, perhaps as a volunteer Mountain Host. Readers should know, that he also has earned valuable professional ski patrol skills.
I am relieved council is made up of four business-minded, entrepreneur folks, who have stated their vision is to work hard in moving this town forward. This will include working on defining the Whistler 2020 Economic Sustainability vision. If life here is so good, our community would not be so divided.
Moving forward, perhaps council should consider:
1. Pass a bylaw, empowering council to fire RMOW employees with cause, who interfere with candidate election platforms, and violate RMOW staff regulations.
2. Publicly report that the Dec. 1 st , "Expression Of Interest" advertisement, Pique Page 50, was approved by council? Thank you staff, for publishing this opportunity, with one week for interested parties to respond! This certainly makes it clear to me, that RMOW wants this facility, not!
3. Included within this EOI, is a LEED requirement for this facility. Currently no LEED venues exist in B.C., of this type; possibly none in North America. I am not against LEED design, however, this is not a temperate climate. Whistler is a resort town at an elevation of 2,200 feet, that sees winter! Why do we need a LEED facility to make ice? Meadow Park is not. LEED categories may be important for several building stages, but the public should be involved during this design process.
4. Is council prepared to continue playing "Whistler Hold em" with VANOC, the province and the feds? Perhaps we will be dealt a winning hand, because we are Whistler, perhaps not. Why not follow the apparent leadership of Intrawest, a local business, by offering an opportunity for private financial partnership to assist with the building costs of the only sports venue Whistler is required to build for 2010?
5. The Paralympic Games is the largest multi-sport event for athletes with a disability. These events showcase over 1,300 athletes, supported by over 1,000 mission staff. The Whistler Paralympics multiplex venue could play host to both summer and winter Paralympic athletes, as we build on our adaptive-athlete-friendly atmosphere by expanding our services as a high-performance centre for Paralympic athletes.
6. This facility could be built to host the Paralympics sledge hockey, with covered seating, (no need for LEED roof). For summer use, lets build it to the dimensions of an international soccer pitch with summer grass, so we can host: soccer, rugby, exhibits, Whistler town parties, and other Paralympic events, including: Summer and winter adaptive athlete training camps; western Canadian championships; World Cup events; Canadian invitational events.
7. Lets bring our community together. Perhaps council will approve "Whistler Day" and manage a chance for all Whistler residents to get together at one of our many venues, for 10,000+!
8. Many people in this town, are not "trustapharians." We work hard, and want the opportunity to make a living, own a home, and contribute. Mayor and council know and need to recognize how important this is. This current green revolution, will not generate investment in business.
The growing Whistler Business Associations (www.whistlerbusiness.org. ) mission statement is to provide assistance to RMOW council and staff in defining a realistic Whistler 2020 Economic Sustainability process that remains friendly to existing and potentially new business investors.
Christopher Raymond, organizer
Whistler Business Association
Highway could be safer
RE: The Sea Sky Highway, "The Killer Highway"
I am concerned that after the government has spent a great deal of money to reconstruct the Sea To Sky Highway, we shall still have an unsafe highway.
In the nine years from 1996 to 2005, there have been 30 fatalities and 754 collisions where vehicles crossed the centreline on Highway 99. These accidents would not have happened if there had been a median barrier, and without the barrier these accidents will continue to escalate as traffic increases each year.
The Ministry of Transportation and Highways recognizes me as a "Highway Engineering Expert". I have spent 40 years directing major highway projects across Canada and overseas and was principal author of the Canadian Highway Design Manual.
The present improvements to the Sea To Sky Highway include: two, three, and four lane sections. The four lane sections will have a median barrier. The two and three sections will not have a barrier.
Contrary to what Tim Allix was told, a barrier from Horseshoe Bay to Whistler can be used. Strategically placed median openings on tangent sections would allow emergency vehicles to gain access to attend any emergency situation.
It is very important that Highway 99 be made as safe as possible by eliminating head-on collisions and other serious cross centerline accidents throughout its total length. This can only be achieved by constructing a concrete median barrier from Horseshoe Bay to Whistler.
In addition to the extreme personal loss these accidents cause, there are sound economic reasons for installing the median barrier. Tourists come to Whistler by car and bus on the Sea to Sky Highway. This can be a very positive experience with the fantastic scenery and the safety of the median barrier, or a very negative one without the barrier. This will be especially important during the Olympics. The experience of traveling to and from Whistler will be on every television set all over the world. Will it be positive or negative?
A very important question for the future of Whistler. I would encourage you to write the Premier.
A measure of society
A couple of weeks ago there was a letter to the editor from a person who had found a fawn hit by a car on the highway in Pemberton, with the mother close by, and she asked the world why no one stopped to help. She eventually drove the fawn to Whistler to be put it out of its misery.
Last week I found a bear cub, no bigger than a small Lab, obviously hit by a car and who had crawled up out of the ditch to find its peace in my paddock. No one had stopped to assist and, in retrospect, based on our dogs' behaviour the day before, it had probably suffered for more than 24 hours.
Last Thursday, my five-year-old cat ventured out on the highway, God knows why, and was run over repeatedly. A young woman stopped and moved him to the side of the road and noticing he was well fed, came to our house to report the misfortune. I didn't get your name, but thank you so much for not letting me find him on my own.
Several years ago, when we first bought the farm, our horses escaped and ventured out on the highway. Some dear soul stopped, calmed me down and helped me bring them home halting logging trucks along the curving way.
I cannot tell you how great a service you provide when you stop and help an animal in distress. It is the ultimate tell-tale of how compassionate society is.
Now the work begins
I would like to congratulate the successful elected councillors and the mayor, and to thank those citizens of Pemberton who supported me on Nov. 19, 2005.
Pemberton must be sustained by a healthy environment.
My mandate is to work with council, community groups, government, First Nations, and the SLRD to make this vision a reality.
Sustainability is everyones responsibility.
We need in the next three years to pick economic development that fits our community. What will we sacrifice? We need to keep our uniqueness and our sense of place.
We need to use our resources effectively.
We have to become interdependent.
We need to be more engaged in our community.
Strong communities come with interdependence, not isolation, partnerships with First Nations, the SLRD and our neighbours is a necessity.
This council will have a number of challenges in the next three years. The overall goals of shared decision making are to achieve good decisions, to achieve them together, and to do so within a reasonable amount of time.
For myself as a member of this council, I will never compromise my integrity, no matter what the perceived benefit. The only person who can rob you of your reputation, credibility, and good name is yourself.
I look forward to the next three years with what the voters elected, a balanced team.
Thank you Pemberton for such an honour to serve you, and good luck to everyone in our great community.
Now the work begins.
Councillor, Village of Pemberton
Lets do it Whistler style
It has come to my attention that Whistler is in need of new, innovative events to boost tourism in Whistler.
Having lived and worked in Whistler for 19 years, I have met a plethora of intelligent, forward-thinking people. So why cant we encourage individuals to come forward with their ideas from within our own village?
So I thought: "Why not have a contest to bring forth workable ideas, and reward these individuals substantially?"
For example, the "Ten Best Ideas" that are economically viable and implemented for the summer of 2006 would all win! Hopefully encouraging further participation for the next contest; the winter of 2006-07.
Personally, I thought: "The 1 st Annual Whistler Winter Carnival!" Possibly the first week or two of January 2006. (All you have to do is search "Winter Carnival" on the web to check it out). Why cant we do this Whistler style? Imagine dog-sled races through the middle of the village, ice skating at Lost Lake, Snow-golf at the Whistler Driving Range, or sipping your favorite beverage in an ice-carved bar the list goes on.
Sounds like a blast to me!
I also thought: "Why not hit up every ski rep we have all ever known and get them to supply major free swag for this event?" For example, each day of the week a different ski company sponsors a daily give away at the base of Whistler, in the Village at 4 p.m. The lucky winner of a free set of skis or snowboard simply had to ride the lifts that day and enter their name into a contest barrel in the lift line. As a DJ spins tunes in the background, the rep gives away free swag to the crowd until the lucky winner is drawn.
This week-long extravaganza would be accompanied by Cornucopia-type events at all the restaurants, and other unique options like free cross-country skiing, free use of tube park etc. Encouraging all Whistler businesses to team together for a successful combined group effort.
Come on Whistler lets do it!
Outstanding care recognized
I would like to recognize the outstanding contribution that the Ski Patrol, the Whistler Medical Centre, and the Paramedics make to the Whistler community. For the past 30 years I have been skiing at Whistler, and I have always taken these professionals for granted. No longer!
On Nov. 26th, I had a very serious accident on the mountain, which necessitated evacuation from the Robertsons/Harveys area by sled, by helicopter to the medical centre and by ambulance to Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver.
The ski patrollers who arrived exhibited a sense of calm professionalism and a depth of knowledge. Their methodical analysis of my situation, attention to detail, and team approach gave me great confidence. This must be a direct reflection of their skills and extensive training. I received the very best care which could be provided.
At the Whistler Medical Centre, I was triaged, and speedily attended. The medical staff effectively diagnosed my injury, addressed the pain, and made sure that I was as comfortable as possible. Once more, I felt that I was in very capable and experienced hands.
Finally, the paramedics who transported me throughout the day were also exemplary. With great care and consideration, they manoeuvred my broken bones and bruised limbs and delivered me as gently as possible to the Lions Gate Hospital.
I would like to thank all of the people who came to my assistance that Saturday. As a community we can be very proud of our medical professionals and confident that we will be capably looked after when an accident fells us or our loved ones.
John R. Brodie
The time has come
Recently I heard that the Westin Hotel chain was making all their North American hotels, including the swimming pool areas and the bar and dining room areas, non-smoking. I think the time has come here in Whistler to declare the whole of the municipality non-smoking. Not just all the buildings but everywhere inside the boundaries.
Of course we couldn't stop people from smoking in their cars or at home but as the Olympics approach we should set a new standard for healthier living. That would mean not selling any tobacco products in Whistler (including cigars) at any grocery stores or drug stores. I can already hear the complaining about individual rights and freedom of choice and how we would lose all our smoking tourists, but as most of the bars in Whistler found out when smoking was banned inside bars, in some cases business actually increased as non-smokers (which constitute around 80 per cent of the population) could now go into bars without having to wash their clothes afterwards.
The publicity generated by this move would more than make up for the amount of smoking customers who would not come here. Many people would be delighted to come to a resort that promotes this healthier lifestyle. I know this would be a tough thing to enact but many people would love the concept. Smoking is the worst thing that one does to their health and cancer is many times the end result. Lets lead the world to a healthier place.
Good luck new council.
Wednesday afternoon, a rusty Honda Civic was stolen from the residential area of Creekside. After a snow-filled day up the mountain the owner returned to find her car was missing. Parked legally and with permission in the duplexs parking lot, the car was stolen, taken hostage and a handsome ransom demanded for the safe release of the car.
Times are hard for the local hardworking people of this town. The slow influx of tourists due to many uncontrollable factors, such as the exchange rate, the lack of snow last year, and the rising cost of gasoline, mean that the earnings made go towards the high cost of living.
Being reliant on the car for work, and therefore survival, and held hostage for more than the amount of money that the owner carefully saves for groceries and gas, was the cause of much unneeded stress and turmoil. The people who caused all this chaos in a poor hardworking locals life are living amongst us, they are our neighbours and business owners. These bottom feeders that are legally making a living off of stealing cars are the tow truck drivers of our resort community.
Paula de Jong
May 19, 2013, 9:15 AM
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