An itch that needs scratch 

Fortunately in offering us additional swimming docks on Alta Lake the municipality has built exterior showers to wash the swimmer’s itch from our skin. On the rocky banks of Alta Lake’s western shore, antiquated septic systems, some still consisting of old wooden boxes, others old septic fields sitting on rock, raw sewage can be seen running down the rock face towards Alta Lake.

After 20-plus years of neighbours voicing concern over the sewage emptying into Alta Lake, a study was recently ordered. Soil samples showed an appalling amount of sewage, between the homes and the lake.   Galvanized chain holding docks in place, which formerly lasted 20 years, is now rusting after one year!

Last week’s newspaper presented the mayor’s “environmental priorities:   We need protection of the Millar Creek wetlands and the Alpha Creek wetlands” said Ken Melamed. Does Whistler’s best swimming, boating, windsurfing, and fishing lake not deserve preservation?

The June 14 newspaper noted our water will soon become metered, low consumption toilets will be legislated — honourable environmental efforts, however, insignificant when weighed against allowing untreated sewage into our waterways.

There is a $5.8 million municipal hall face lift on the horizon. The library is now over $10 million. New expanded volleyball courts at Rainbow Park, and a new bridge at Lost Lake are attempts to improve the enjoyment of our parks. Perhaps something should be done to mitigate the smell and desecration of our lovely Alta Lake.

The municipality is focused on Whistler being an “environmentally sustainable community” for the 2010 Olympics. Ah, perhaps it’s only “for the eyes of the world”!

Jill Jacques

Whistler

 

Explain the science

What is “The Natural Step” framework (also known as TNS)? Although I counted the term at least 11 times in last week's Pique, and I attended "Mr. Sustainability's" talk in Whistler on Friday (whose interview accounted for seven of the 11 citations), I am still very confused.

I first started looking into TNS when I heard that it played a large role in the success of our 2010 bid by defining “sustainability” principles for the Olympic games. The framework is based on a 16-page book by Karl-Henrik Robert (1997), that has since led to others writing numerous books and "seeding a silent revolution".

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