Letters to the editor for the week of July 14th 

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The Whistler Naturalists' 10th annual (and Canada's longest-running) BioBlitz was a huge success, thanks to the quality and quantity of over 70 scientists and volunteers. BioBlitzes strive to achieve two goals: to increase public appreciation for biodiversity and also our knowledge of all the species that share the areas where we live. The 2016 BioBlitz again achieved those goals thanks to the efforts and support of many people and organizations.

Thanks to everyone who braved the weather and dropped by Alpha Lake Park on Saturday, July 9 to take part in the BioBlitz Nature Festival. On display were Whistler critters, plants, mushrooms and other life forms with scientists answering questions and providing lots of amazing info. Special thanks to the weather for clearing during our kids events — animal-tracks T-shirt painting and the wild-things scavenger hunt.

Saturday night, it was great to hear from the scientists on their fabulous finds of the day as well as during the past nine years of BioBlitzing in Whistler. Over the years we've had species found during BioBlitz that had never been recorded before on the B.C. mainland, had never been recorded west of the Rockies, had never been recorded in Canada, and even species new to science!

Results from the weekend are now pouring in and we expect the total to be over 500, of which close to 100 will be new records for our area. The results will be collated by the Whistler Biodiversity Project and available online within the next few weeks at www.whistlerbioblitz.ca.

The Whistler Naturalists would like to thank all the scientists and local volunteers, plus our key sponsors: the Community Foundation of Whistler, AWARE, Resort Municipality of Whistler, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District and Whistler Blackcomb.

We would also like to thank all the organizations and businesses who contributed to the event: Whistler Museum, Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council, South Coast Conservation Program, Get Bear Smart Society, Legends Hotel, Creekside Market, Nesters Market, Whistler Brewing, Riverside Café, Palmer Environmental Consulting, Avalanche Pizza, Purebread, Whistler Cooks, Whistler Creative, and Glacier Signs.

Kristina Swerhun, Bob Brett, Kathy Jenkins, and Julie BurrowsOn behalf of the BioBlitz team

Stress test of DES

My wife and I have owned homes for over 40 years. Most had all electric baseboard heat. One home was heated by a forced air furnace. The last home we owned had in slab hydronic heat. At no time did any of our heating systems ever fail, let alone not work perfectly. Not one electric baseboard failed. Not one thermostat failed. Maintenance and repair costs? Zero.

When we purchased our home with hydronic heat, it was three years old. Up to that point, there had not been any issues and no need for service. We lived in the home for seven years. In the last year, the system started to make banging noises especially in the morning. I knew this was air in the system even though I had little experience with hydronic heat. I quickly found the problem. The automatic air vent had failed. I purchased a new one from a local plumbing wholesaler for less than $15, installed it in less than 15 minutes, problem solved.

In every heating system in every home my wife and I owned, if we turned up a thermostat, the heat came on. There was never any apprehension, never any doubt.

Contrast our experience with the DES stress experienced by owners in the Cheakamus Crossing where they live in fear, afraid to wake up to a cold home, afraid to even open the door to their mechanical rooms for fear they will be met with the dreaded red screen.

No other owners of Whistler Housing Association units face the DES stress that we in Cheakamus Crossing face. This cannot continue. We must not allow it to continue.

David MacPhail

Fixing the Sea to Sky bottleneck

The Tour de France is on right now. It can be seen on a couple of TV channels (at ungodly hours). A couple of things are obvious on the images from the helicopter cameras:

• The oldest part of all the towns, big and small, go back to centuries, save for a few that were reduced to rubble during the Second World War but I don't think they are on this tour;

• Roofs have different slopes and materials depending on the region. It has to do with the historical regional style that takes in account the climate and local materials;

A house in Bretagne will be different from one in Provence, in Auvergne...

• The tour doesn't use major roads between towns but secondary roads, most of them with two lanes, sometimes three, that twist and turn like crazy. 

• There are always more than two roads between towns, even in mountainous regions.

Granted, most of the towns are very old (any town that was built in the Middle Ages is called a New Town) and the Romans improved the Celtic trails, besides building their own roads, that can still be seen here and there. Both Napoleon I and Napoleon III had many roads rebuilt to highest standards.

All the same, B.C. is rich enough to build one more road — if not two — to link Vancouver to the Squamish-Whistler-Pemberton area.

J.L. Brussac

Community effort worthy of thanks

There are perhaps hundreds of resorts in North America that call themselves four-season resorts. In my book a water park, wave pool and a variety of other man-made summer-friendly features does not constitute  a four-season resort and certainly they do not hold a candle to Whistler.

Whistler, with five magical lakes on the valley floor, is a special place that can truly call itself a four-season resort. What is disturbing is that people continue to just throw empty cans and other trash in the lakes in spite of the efforts made by the RMOW parks crews to maintain them. After four years it is obvious that we are making progress as the amount of trash was much less this year than in past years.

On behalf all of the people who recreate in the lakes of Whistler I would like to send a special "Thank you!" to the dynamic Kimiko Taguchi, who does a huge job in organizing the various components that make up the Great Lake Clean Up! Kimiko lines up the divers, ensures they have a place to stay and then gets local businesses to donate food or prizes that are given out to the volunteers who show up to make the lakes of Whistler cleaner, more environmentally friendly places for residents and visitors to recreate.

A special thank you to Henry Wang and his dive team, Hostelling International Whistler, Nesters Market, Creekside Market, Starbucks Coffee Creekside, Dusty's and all volunteers, including Nita Lake Lodge Team and Delta Hotel Team.

And to the businesses — most of whom have supported the cleanup day for the last four years — and all the volunteers who came out and cleaned up, thank you and we will see you again next year:

Backroads Whistler; RMOW – for the divers' expenses ($2,000) and sanitary crews; TAG; Crepe Montagne; The Keg; Teppan Village; Old Spaghetti Factory; Home Hardware; Roland's; Cows Ice Cream; Blenz; Purebread; and IGA.

Finally, the clean up doesn't happen just once a year. People are constantly pulling junk out of the lakes and we all salute them. We will continue to grab trash when we see it.

Roger McCarthy

Monday night ride fundraiser

I just want to say thank-you to all the riders and guides who donated some extra money to help me get to the nationals. A big thank-you to Larry Falcon and WORCA for letting me put this on. I got a total of $256. I'll be using the money to cover travel expenses, such as flights and transportation.

For more info about me visit: http://juliawhistler.wix.com/mysite

Thank you again to everyone for supporting, and hope to see you on the trails.

Julia Long

Celebrate Canada

Hi everyone, my name is Shahmeer Singh. I was born in Canada. I just want to tell everyone about Canada.

Our Canada born on July 1, 1867. It has 10 provinces and three territories. Ottawa is the capital of Canada.

Canada is multicultural and a preserver of Mother Nature.

Its population is growing because it is very beautiful. Canada gives freedom to everyone to do whatever they want to do, except bad things.

I have a great school named Garibaldi Highlands Elementary. I sang Canada's anthem along with Tabla (on Asian drum) in a talent show in my school. Canada is the best place on Earth.

Shahmeer Singh
Grade 3, Garibaldi Highlands Elementary School

A FUNtastic day it was

On Friday, June 17, Spring Creek Community School celebrated another successful year of learning with its annual FUN Day.

Many wacky activity stations of thanks to our amazing Grade 6 and 7 students. The leadership, positive energy and responsibility that you demonstrated throughout the day were commendable. The Graduating Class of 2016 is a special one!

Big thank yous to our newly appointed Principal Mr. Stuart Bent for "clowning" around all day, to Lenka Hennesey and all of the SCCS and ELP teachers and assistants who dressed and played along in colourful spirit, to all of the students who brought their teamwork and high energy, and to the large group of SCCS and ELP parents who helped with set up, at the stations and with tear down. It was a memorable day because of all of you.

Special thanks to the PAC's Tracy Higgs for leading the organization and Tanya Goertzen for MC-ing. Hot chocolate and coffee cups of thanks to Tim Hortons store No. 5791 and Creekside Starbucks. Your generous contributions in helping to create a super FUN day for all students were much appreciated.

Christine Zucht
Spring Creek Community School PAC

Chamber fundraiser thanks

On behalf of the Pemberton and District Chamber of Commerce and the Pemberton Rotary club I would like to extend special thank you to the staff at The Meadows Golf Course at Pemberton for hosting our 11th annual fundraising tournament. The following sponsor businesses and volunteers helped to make our event a success: Scotiabank,  Andritz Power,  Innergex, Pemberton Recreation Services, Squamish Lillooet Regional District, Village of Pemberton, Pemberton Valley Supermarket, Westpark Electric, Pemberton Pharmacy, Nesters, Freybe,

Our Hole-in-One sponsors were the Pemberton Valley Building Centre, RONA, Pemberton Valley Lodge, Valley Chainsaw and Recreational, Event Rental Works.

Thanks for the live auction to Blackcomb Helicopters, Pemberton Valley Building Centres, RONA, Big Sky Golf, and to our silent-auction participants Pemberton Distillery, Grimm's Deli, Lodging Ovations, Cantebury Coffee, Whistler Blackcomb, Shirley Henry, Big Sky Golf Club, Whistler Jet Boating, Tourism Pemberton, Pemberton Chamber, The Meadows at Pemberton, Canadian Wilderness Adventures, Freybe, Stoncor, Pemberton Valley Wellness, Connections, Sandra McLaren, Cheray Brandt, Warren Hitzig, Katelyn Roschter, Rachel Pinkney and Greenwood Country Inn.

BBQ and t-bag thanks go to Freybe, Slopeside Supply, English Bay Cookies, Pemberton Valley Supermarket and Scotiabank.

The draw prizes were courtesy of Mile One Eating House, Freybe, Stoncor, Pemberton General Store and Abel Pest Control.

We couldn't have done it without our volunteers — Steve Hitchen, James Linklater, Pat MacKenzie, Karen Ross, Kevin McLeod, Richard Megeney, Holly Nunn, Sheldon Tetreault, Amhani  Jones, Lyra Tuck, Nicole Piperahora,  Seija Evans, Chris Read, Jonathan Rabuna, Scott Coughlin, Ty Archer, Shirley Henry, barbecue chef John Corrigan and the Scotiabank volunteers Victoria Swayze, Denille Smith, Adam Adams, Jordana Shier, Omid Esmeali, Kirsten Reinholz, Aaron Oviatt, Faris Ataya, Lisa Chiason, and Teresa Pedersen.

Thank you to all involved.

Shirley Henry
Pemberton and District Chamber of Commerce

Thanks for generous donation

Families Fighting Cancer in the Sea to Sky would like to recognize Chrissy DeVall and TAG Cycling for their generous $650 donation. This money was raised in studio and at a Creekbread event in the spirit of creating breast-cancer awareness. We are very grateful. Thank you!

Michelle Williamson. Lisa Geddes
Families Fighting Cancer in the Sea to Sky


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