Letters to the editor for the week of April 17th 

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Whistler Blackcomb accolades are many

Last week's "Alta States" article (Pique April 10) stated Whistler Blackcomb hasn't been ranked No. 1 in SKI Magazine "for some time now."

As a point of clarification, and for future reference, Whistler Blackcomb was the No. 1 ranked resort in SKI Magazine in 2013, No. 3 in 2012, No. 3 in 2011, No. 3 in 2010, No. 2 in 2009, No. 3 in 2008 and No. 3 in 2007.

It was correctly stated that WB is the No. 1 ranked resort in many other publications. Check out www.whistlerblackcomb.com/media/about/awards.asp all of our awards and accolades.

The April 4 "Alta States" column also stated the Peak 2 Peak Gondola cost over $65 million. The actual cost was $53 million.

Stuart Rempel

Whistler Blackcomb 

Coast to Cascades grizzlies

On April 8 I attended an event called "A Night with the Grizzlies," presented by the Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative and their partners at Millennium Place in Whistler.

The advertisement read, "Join us as we talk about grizzly bears in southwestern B.C. and what you can do to save them."

I personally became motivated to "save" bears last year when I saw on the news that an American NHL player had come to B.C. and killed one, then had his picture taken with its severed head and paws. In my opinion, trophy hunting is a crime against one of nature's most compelling creatures that modern society must bring to an end.

Not being from the local area, I was unaware of this initiative to re-populate grizzlies in the Whistler/Pemberton region. I am aware that there are diminishing numbers of these big bears everywhere, largely due to human impacts, and I certainly am in agreement with any efforts to protect or save them.

The house was full as the evening's presentations began. The three speakers were Tony Hamilton of the Ministry of Environment, Johnny Mikes of the Coast to Cascades and Chris Morgan, a TV documentarian and bear specialist. All three men expressed their passion for the grizzlies and personal hopes for their continued survival. However, I was dismayed that after speaking for two hours regarding issues impacting the future survival of the species, not one of them had mentioned the trophy hunt.

I would have thought that an event advertised as, "learn about grizzlies and what you can do to save them," would have included the fact that these animals are being legally hunted and killed for trophies right here in this province at the very same time we are talking about how we might help them survive.

I feel that it is really absurd that on the one hand, organizations like the Coast to Cascades is making noble efforts to re-populate grizzlies — a species that we must then agree is struggling to survive — while on the other hand, and at the same time, our government is allowing them to be hunted and killed for no better reason than for one person's pleasure in doing it! And we are apparently not to mention it.

Not speaking about the trophy hunt is wrong. It is as wrong as the trophy hunt is itself. There is no number of grizzlies that supports trophy killing. It is a disgusting 19th century blood sport that has no place in 21st century society.

And it is extremely disappointing and counter-productive when even bear experts are apparently muzzled from talking about it.

We will never reach the critical mass required to end trophy hunting until we have leaders who are willing to join us in speaking out against it.

Jacqueline Hohmann


Library a cornerstone of community

Let us count the ways in which one could describe the Whistler Public Library.

A refuge from the outside, a study space, a day care, a place to watch and/or rent movies, a living room, a teen hangout, a community centre and, of course, a place to borrow books. Another set of eyes and ears could go on.

Bottom line: the multiple manifestations of the library are evidence of this community's great need for it. A big thanks to those who make it possible. 

Maybe we could show some more support and see some extended opening hours and times dedicated to quiet use of the library?

These are just the views of someone who uses the library predominantly for studying, but as outlined above, I'm sure there are others who will have requests far from similar to my own.

Brooke Browning


Student campaign

This week our class will be taking part in the Me to We, "We Are Silent" campaign.

We decided to do this because our class has been learning about the rights of the child, human rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We also are doing this so we help educate the children who don't have these rights.

This campaign means that we will be contributing to the community. We are going to work at the food bank instead of going to school, like many of the children in the world do. Our class will also get water from a creek nearby for the day so we can wash dishes. We will also do a math lesson outside with not enough clothes on to keep us warm. We are doing this to see how it feels to be cold and maybe wet. Some of my classmates will not snack this day too.

We encourage Whistler as a community to take a minute to be silent and think about those without food, water, a shelter or access to education. For more information on this campaign please go to #WeAreSilent, www.freethechildren.com/we-are-silent, or if possible you can donate to any of your favourite charities or donate to the Malala fund (malalfund.org)

Matthias Shorter, on behalf of Mme. Jane Millen's class

Spring Creek Community School

Looking forward to Whistler Cup 2015

Thank you, Whistler!

It is my sincere pleasure to thank the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Whistler/Blackcomb Mountain, our 325 local and not so local race course volunteers, the just under 400 dedicated, committed and amazing athletes from all over B.C., Canada and 26 other countries who participated in the 22nd annual Whistler Cup.

As it has been every year since its inception 22 years ago, Whistler Cup was an inspirational event and an amazingly unique opportunity for Whistler to shine.

Whistler Cup is the largest international ski race in North America for 13- to 16-year-old athletes. We saw firsthand the best skiers of the next generation of gifted athletes, future Olympians and World Cup skiers right here in Whistler.

I also wish to thank our 46 partners and sponsors including the Patron Sponsor Rio Tinto Alcan, Whistler Resort, Whistler/Blackcomb and of course Glacier Media — without their generous financial and personnel support on and off the hill, we would have been unable to host this great event.

In the Whistler Cup's 22-year history, 235 of the athletes from 45 countries have gone on to ski in the World Cup circuit and have accumulated over 20 top-10 World Cup finishes and 12 Olympic medals.

It was inspirational for all the athletes and coaches to spend time with our own current and former Olympic and World Cup champions including Marielle Thompson, 2014 Olympic Gold Canadian medal winner and two-time ski cross world champion.

We look forward to the 23rd Annual Whistler Cup April 3rd, 2015.

Wayne Holm

Chair, 22nd Annual Whistler Cup

Yes to leashes and common sense

(This letter is in) response to a letter published about on-leash dogs in (Pique April 10).

I was walking my dog late last summer, on leash, on the valley trail. My dog was sniffing the grass off to the side, and I too was standing on the edge of the trail off on the right.

Suddenly, a woman on roller blades came whipping by. I did not hear her approach, but we were on a straight way and she could see us.

As she went by, my dog lunged towards her, but he was leashed and didn't get close. However, the woman got a scare and yelled a bunch of not-so-nice words my way.

The point I'm trying to make is for bikers, bladers, etc. to ring a bell, or shout out "on your left/ right."

It would have allowed me to hold the leash closer and avoided her fright, and my shoulder jolt!

Yes to on leash and yes to common sense.

Ophra Buckman


'Character' eateries deserve protection

Like many long-time residents of Whistler, I have watched the changes occur. We have new buildings, fun amenities and more visitors than ever before, but what makes these changes so palatable are institutions like Citta's.

They give us a solid place to stand amongst the rapid change. They are our anchors, part of our core.

The village will lose its special character without Citta's. Its quaintness and hometown feel is what guests crave and want to be so much a part of. They love being part of the "in-crowd."

I hope that (the) decision (will be reconsidered) and Citta's (is allowed) to continue to do business in the heart of the village, and continue to be that core part of the resort. 

Bernie Lalor-Morton

Fort McMurray

Citta's, a good friend, always

After what I've been through the news of Citta's closing wasn't the worst thing I've heard in the past few years.

It is very disappointing though.

I've been in Whistler for over 20 years and have been to Citta's, every one of them.

When my brother got a job there, we became closer than ever. I've made so many friends there over the years. Girlfriends, best friends, friends I will never forget and friends I'll never remember.

(I've) celebrated, consoled, counselled and been counselled (there). It's fed me, made me hungry, told me stories, made stories for me to tell.

Even after I quit drinking it was a major stopping point for me.

There are too many stories to tell in one letter. so I'll just tell the latest and greatest. Three years ago, when I was under treatment for brain cancer and my finances were at a lifetime low, Emily Wood, Jeremy Petterson, a whole pile of friends and Citta's saved my family.

Emily, Stinky and many other friends went out of their way to create a charity event for my family and me. I've never needed so much, or been given so much by friends in the community.

Local business, friends I see every day and some I hadn't seen in years joined up for my most amazing night at Citta's ever. I haven't, and can't, thank you all enough for what you have done for my family and me.

My memory doesn't work so well anymore, but I will always remember that night and many others. Some I will never remember, but I will always be glad my friends and Citta's were there for me when I needed it most.

Al Paul


Say 'no' to Site C dam

I don't believe that the Site C dam is in the best interests of British Columbians.

Energy experts demonstrated at the hearings on the project, that even without Site C, B.C. could be in an energy surplus situation for decades. If built, Site C would put the province in an energy surplus situation into 2030.

This will result in BC Hydro having to sell the power at a significant loss. Prices for power on the open market are approximately one third of what it would cost to produce power from Site C.

Additionally, energy experts pointed out that the methods used by BC Hydro to compare energy alternatives were faulty and must be thoroughly re-examined. It doesn't make sense to presume that the alternatives must produce the same maximum output as Site C, when they could be more cost effectively constructed on an incremental and as-needed basis. This would allow BC Hydro to avoid the gross over production scenario that would result from Site C.

The proposed project would have wide-ranging environmental, social and economic impacts, not only for the communities in and near the Peace River Valley, but for all British Columbians.

The recently released report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states that, "All aspects of food security are potentially affected by climate change, including food access, utilization, and price stability."

Site C would flood more than 52 square kilometres of precious agricultural land, including a significant percentage of B.C.'s most precious and productive Class 1 and 2 lands. Class 1 land comprises only 0.2 per cent of the total landmass of B.C. while this increases slightly to 1.3 per cent for Class 2. Thus, Site C would flood some of the finest agricultural land in the province! How can you allow this to happen?

The losses of boreal forest, biodiversity and ecosystem services and functions including carbon sequestration are unacceptable risks.

The proposed dam would destroy critical habitat for at-risk species and impede wildlife mobility. This would contribute to genetic isolation and the potential loss of species. According to wildlife biologist Dr. Clayton Apps, the impacts from development in the northeast region of the province are already "highly significant" for wildlife and Site C will compound these cumulative impacts.

The dam would severely impact First Nations, flooding 78 First Nations heritage sites, including burial grounds and places of cultural and spiritual significance.

All of these values associated with the land that would be impacted by Site C have significant quantifiable values over time, which should not be dismissed as you consider this project.

Site C electricity is not needed for domestic consumption: residential and commercial customers in B.C. have actually reduced their power consumption on average since 2008, despite linear population growth. The costs of Site C to B.C. ratepayers and to our environment are simply too high. Is this all truly a risk that we should be taking?

Rather than building Site C dam, BC Hydro should be exploring and developing alternative sources of energy that do not add to the rapidly accelerating cumulative impacts on the environment of northeastern B.C.

On a final note, it is inappropriate to see BC Hydro proceeding with construction related activities including requests for qualifications from potential contractors to construct the dam.

Given that the environmental assessment process is not yet complete, and that many British Columbians participated with sincerity in the process, BC Hydro's actions demonstrate a very dismissive and disrespectful attitude towards the decision-making processes.

As mentioned at the beginning of this letter, we are in no rush for the power; regardless, proceeding in this fashion is insensitive, unnecessary and undermines the federal and provincial government processes that residents are led to believe are carried out in good faith.  

If there was a referendum held you know without a doubt that the people of B.C. would not allow this project to go head.

I urge you to reject the Site C dam project in the interests of all British Columbians living here now and particularly, for those who will want to enjoy "the best place on earth" in the future. Please listen to the people as well as the experts not to build site C Dam.

Geoff Gerhart


Pipe-dream or pipe-mare?

LNG is in the news. It will affect the future of this province.

Natural gas burns "cleaner" than other fuels.

Here is an idea for the Woodfibre site. Build a natural, gas-fired electrical power plant supplemented by hydro, wind, tide, solar, wave etc.

Hydro is steady, wind seems good, tides happen like clockwork about twice a day, sun not so good, waves not so good, and when all else fails, fire up the barbecue. The power produced could be exported as far as Tierra Del Fuego simply by hooking up to the already existing, high-tension wires running overhead.

Would this cost more than a nozzle for ships to suck on? You bet. 

How to sell it to the public?

Your hydro bill just went up about 10 per cent due to Independent Power Projects and more electric cars and other gadgets. This generating facility will be a BC Hydro project, so any profits will benefit British Columbians, not foreign companies. It could even produce "free'' power, after the investment was paid off.

How to sell it to the politicians?

To Premier Christy Clark, you have been elected because of your LNG plan, please don't pump it into whatever floats up and sell your future short.

To minister John Weston, "The will to do, the soul to dare" are your words, this is in that category. 

To minister Elizabeth May of the Green party, does this make sense in your back yard? 

What is the political payoff? Run a television commercial where "insert dignitaries here" are cutting the ribbon at a facility that actually meets with Kyoto and other accords, while well-fed dolphins and orcas frolic in the background. I could stomach that better than ads saying salmon are the most important thing to a pipeline company.

Anyone who has fired up a barbecue, sat under a "patio warmer,'' or camped with a stove and lantern cannot gripe about natural gas use. 

Would it be cleaner to power electric cars this way instead of gasoline?

Before we go fracking up our province I think we need to ask ourselves how it can benefit future generations. I hope my son can boast about a world-class facility, or at least have a good job prospect here at home rather than watch ships pass by and occasionally explode.

If this is a pipe dream, I prefer it to the pipe-nightmares being proposed.

Rob Neaga


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