Letters to the editor for the week of February 20th 

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A new location for Franz's Chair?

For years, I have looked at Franz's Chair, the original Peak chair salvaged to be used in overload periods, in its imperfect (too short) location.

It is mostly an unmoving eyesore when viewing the vistas while riding Big Red chair, and Franz's Chair does little for Whistler Blackcomb (WB) as it is too slow to be useful.

However, it has a great alignment if it were extended to the Highway 86 and Upper/Lower Franz confluence. Why? The collector Pony Trail has become too narrow for the concentrated traffic it now bears, and near miss or real skier/boarder collisions can be observed daily.

If Franz's chair were extended and upgraded to high speed, it would reduce the red-line lift pressure, especially in the mornings, if one was not required to return to mid station's Big Red chair.

What's more, if ever a new gondola was to be developed for the southern Cheakamus Crossing vicinity, the Highway 86 and Upper/Lower Franz junction would be a natural locus to connect to it, and solve your overflow day parking problem at Creekside vis-à-vis the paving of the timing flats current controversy.   

Regarding the paving of the timing flats for occasional overflow parking — the jungle drums are working world wide on this issue — don't do it.

Rex McLennan got it right in last week's (Pique Feb. 13) letter to the editor. It is your brand that runs the risk of a very big black eye if WB management proceeds.

Every skier with a sense of right and wrong is watching, young and old, and we are connected electronically to the skiing world. 

When you need the community to assist WB in the heavy lifting of really tough issues in future, you do not want the Dave Murray Downhill paving the timing flats fiasco to haunt WB management.

Suck it up, and give credit to the community for wise advice, and put this item to bed for a while.

Look to a new southern gondola in the Cheakamus Crossing vicinity and day skier parking there to solve your timing flats parking overload issue.

Now that's an idea that would build long-term skier/snowboarder excitement and give you an out.

Brian D. Tutty

Michael Shuman to speak

A vibrant economy is an integral part of a sustainable community.

Creating a vibrant economy includes creating the conditions to foster and support a healthy local economy: successful community values-based businesses; a culture of entrepreneurship, innovation and authenticity; resiliency and self-reliance; more dollars in our community; and awesome jobs that support a great quality of life for all of us who want to work in the place where we live and play.

With that in mind the Whistler Centre for Sustainability is hosting a public event and discussion featuring leading North American economist and author, Michael Shuman, entitled "Fostering a Vibrant Sea to Sky Regional Economy."

Focusing on local economic development strategies from around North America, Mr. Shuman will provide compelling ideas and success stories of how communities shift economic development initiatives into creating more local wealth.

Mr. Shuman has recently authored Local Dollars, Local Sense, and will speak about local ownership and self-reliance, public policy, local investment strategies, creating local and regional supply chains, reducing wealth leakage, and some building blocks for creating a more vibrant Sea to Sky corridor economy.

Following Mr. Shuman's presentation, a panel comprising business leaders in the Sea to Sky corridor will respond with their perspectives on how to strengthen the local economy in the corridor.

The event will be held Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Whistler Conference Centre.

Mr. Shuman will also lead a breakfast discussion the following morning at the Delta Whistler Village Suites. For more information on both events, and to register, please visit www.whistlercentre.ca

This event is part of the Centre's work in the corridor and the Sea to Sky Local Economy Action Network (LEAN).

Cheeying Ho
Whistler Centre for Sustainability

MP looks forward to more fisheries work

In response to Dave Brown's letter published on Jan. 23, 2014, I want to thank him for reminding everyone of his high commitment level towards fisheries.

Dave, since 2009, you have been instrumental in maintaining, expanding, and improving the Sea to Sky Fisheries Roundtable. Together with the group, we accomplished so much and much more than any other Canadian advisory committee.

Our unique approach generated clear results; we brought the Ottawa Standing Committee to the riding in Powell River for first time in 12 years, (had) repeated meetings with the minister and parliamentary secretary of DFO, the Pacific Salmon Foundation large increase in funding, the full return of the Salmon Stamp, (and) we helped created the Closed Containment Aquaculture report.

We generated a brand new program for fisheries — the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnership Program, which was renewed with $15 million in the 2014 budget. We already have two projects in our riding that received funding through the first round of this program; the Evans Creek re-watering project and the Tiampo Coho Restoration Project, and I have strongly supported the second round of applications.

As I stated in late September 2013, in my public letter to you — engaged citizenry through constructive criticism is what makes our democracy stronger.

The current government might not be perfect, but it certainly took actions on many items we brought forth, the latest example being the maintenance of Discovery Islands' moratorium.

As your MP, I will keep building capacities of our group and serve the people to the best of my ability. Let's bring back the constructive power of our group together, and build on our positive leadership.

MP John Weston
West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky Country

Highways connect, but they also divide

Four lanes wide, Highway 99 has long been a barrier to overcome for the hundreds of residents of Whistler Cay Heights who walk, or cycle to the village or Marketplace each day.

Pedestrians and cyclists are particularly numerous in this neighbourhood, as it is one of the few in the valley not served by transit. This non-motorized traffic is naturally funnelled onto Whistler Cay Drive, then across the 99 onto a footpath through the Village Park (between the Lagoons and Sunpath).

It is likely the heaviest, unsanctioned foot traffic across the 99 at any point in the valley.

A pedestrian-activated signal at Whistler Cay Drive would make the crossing safer, but presumably most drivers would prefer to continue to slalom around us rather than being obliged to stop at yet another red light along the 99 (so far as I know, despite our numbers, we jaywalkers have served only as gates, not as moguls or speed bumps for motorists).

Instead I believe a pedestrian overpass, similar to the one at Nordic Estates (but hopefully prettier), would be the ideal solution for both the motorist and us. Not only would a bridge here contribute to the convenience and safety of our neighbourhood's current pedestrian and cyclist contingent, but the structure would also constitute an effective environmental measure. (It would) serv(e) to stimulate even more of my neighbours, especially those with small children, to leave their cars at home for their journey to the Marketplace, the village and even the lifts (the overpass would be an eight-minute walk in ski boots to the Village Gondola).

In the long run the bridge may even service to recruit more local residents to establish themselves in Whistler Cay Heights, both as renters and as home owners, in order to enjoy the benefits of a healthy car-free or car-light lifestyle.

I believe the overpass would also bear symbolic value, as a signal to both locals and visitors that Whistler is serious about endorsing non-motorized transportation.

The less we drive, and the more we walk or pedal, the less we contribute to greenhouse gases that melt glaciers and turn snow to rain.

Thomas DeMarco

A little romance is a good thing

Dear Max: Clearly you are not a female or a princess! Tonight is Valentine's and a commercial and marketing gift grab! I get that!

But intrinsically I am a female, and a princess, and I would like lingerie or flowers from my perfect partner on this day.

And guess what? I have found one — a perfect partner! One I love! And on our first Valentine's Day he happened to read your VDay article (Pique Feb. 13)!


Not good GD! Messes up a perfectly good romantic evening because you suggested that flowers on Valentine's Day are the devil's curse! The green house gas emissions for a few flowers aren't much more than a few bananas or a couple of tomatoes. Do you have a problem with people eating bananas and tomatoes?

Again, not a winner statement to further the romance on Valentine's Day!

Look I like you and I rarely have issues with your point of view in your columns, but I don't want to go the next 40 years wishing my perfect partner would bring me brightly coloured, beautiful symbols of our love in the middle of a dark, cold winter!

Stephanie Reesor

The Point of Winter!

Thanks to everyone who came out to the inaugural winter carnival at The Point this past Saturday.

Snow-challenged winters tend to get people together on the frozen lakes, and what better place to celebrate this one than at the old heritage lodge on Alta Lake.

It was a full-on, old-school community gathering with locals and Vancouverites, young and old gathered around the fire, the shinny game, the ice sculpting and painting, live music, hot chili, chocolate and wine. There were a lot of happy faces.

Dinner was accompanied by theatre skits and the smokin' "stoke-folk" of Fernie band Shred Kelly who had the dance floor hoppin' with everyone from teenagers to seniors and all those in between!

Thanks to all the artists at The Point who made it happen from musicians and ice carvers, to lantern makers, actors, painters, and more.

Thanks also to our pool of great volunteers and to our sponsors Whistler Brewing Company, Nesters Market, Aphrodite's Organic Café and Pure Bread.

Now the snow can finally fly!

Stephen Vogler
Artistic Director, The Point Artist-Run Centre

Thank you Whistler community

On Jan. 6, Mountain Minis Childcare opened its door to children and their families after six months of careful planning, ongoing construction and a commitment to providing more much-needed childcare in our community.

We would like to thank the following local businesses for all of their generosity and hard work: Stark Contracting & Management (Mark Johnson, Steve Orange and their team, a special thank you to Sonny Roy-Hins for always saying, "Yes I can do that!"), Steve, Patrick, Kevin and the team at Avant Contractors Inc., Brent at General Paint, Ryan and team at Sherwin-Williams Paint Inc., Shawn Freeman at Hi-Whistler, the lovely ladies of Garibaldi Graphics, Rob Whitton from the Whistler Fire Hall and Claire Moses at Sea to Sky Community Services.

We would also like to thank the following individuals for their kind donations and time spent helping make the opening of Mountain Minis Childcare a reality. Thank you to April Solonyka, Dave Troestler, Jeff Isert, Jimmy Button, Julia Black, Jodi Dodd, Jay Southall, Karen Devine, Kirsi Pereda, Krysta Gibbons, Louisa Calamini, Les Ecker, Marc Menard, Nadine Fish, Scott Esseltine and Susan Watkinson.

To all of the families who enrolled and helped to support the commencement of our junior and senior preschool programs, thank you for allowing Mountain Minis Childcare to be "a great place to encourage caring, curiosity, discovery and learning." We are thrilled to be a part of the childcare community.

Kate McCormick and Team
Mountain Minis Childcare


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