Letters to the Editor for the week of June 11th 

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SAR thanks

On Sunday, May 31, a Whistler Search and Rescue (WSAR) member was leading a 5.11 climb with a fellow rock enthusiast when a handhold broke free. 

The metre-size rock flake severed the climbing rope and resulted in a near full-pitch fall into the woods below. 

The climbing area is east of Conroy Creek on the relatively remote route known as the Outpost. 

Squamish Search and Rescue was notified and attended the scene by air.

The rescue scene was covered in forest canopy resulting in a long-line rescue and subsequent transfer to air ambulance on Highway 99.

As a result of Squamish SAR's quick, professional response, our member is in stable condition, without deficits and is recovering from serious injury in Vancouver General Hospital.

WSAR Society thanks our neighbouring team to the south for its hours of selfless training in establishing these first-class emergency response protocols.

Thanks so much!

Brad Sills

On behalf of WSAR Society

Gaper Day fun

I think it's fair to say that this year's Gaper Day was a huge success. Not only did we have the best weather in years, but fun-loving Gapers and their spirit were embraced by all — we truly had an epic day. 

Following the mountain shenanigans, many people made their way over to the GLC for the après party, which also doubled as a fundraiser for a fallen gaper, the legendary Jon Crawford.

For those of you who didn't know Jon, he was a guy that embodied so much of what Whistler is all about. Hailing from Seattle, he found his way into the hearts of many Whistlerites, and when he passed away suddenly last summer he left a huge hole in our hearts.

Since Gaper Day was probably one of his favourite days of the year (he was a costume, tele skiing and pond-skimming master) we wanted to honour Jon and also raise funds for his #LiveLikeCrawford Foundation with the first (we hope of many) Gaper Day après fundraisers.

With the generosity of many local businesses, we were able to raiser over $1,000 for his foundation! These funds will go to aid underprivileged and at-risk youth, and help them get outdoors to ski, rock climb and camp — all things which Jon loved to do and helped these kids do in his life.

Huge thanks to Mike Wilson and the GLC staff, all of our DJs and performers — Ace Mackay-Smith, Jamie Bond, Mark Warner — all of our friends who helped put on an amazing event and everyone who attended.  And of course a massive thank you to all of our donors!

Prizes were donated by: Canadian Wilderness Adventures, Superfly Ziplines, Wedge Rafting, Sushi Village, Caramba Restaurant, Gotham Steakhouse Vancouver, Whistler Tasting Tours, Grayl Water Filtration, Scandinave Spa, Whistler Golf Club, Sachi Sushi, Samantha Rahn, Surf Ballard, Ponti Seafood Grill Seattle, University Volkswagen Seattle, and PHAT Sportsbar Vancouver. 

Next year we will do it again, bigger and better — because we gotta remember to #LiveLikeCrawford.

 Kristy Mitchell


Time for Canada to have mandatory recall on faulty vehicles

I received a recall notice for my Dodge Grand Caravan regarding my "wireless ignition node module detents." 

It is a fancy name for a small metal spring in the ignition switch.

I was happy to see that Chrysler was on it and was told in my letter to wait for another letter that would tell me when the replacement part was available.

Chrysler "intends to repair your vehicle free of charge (parts and labour)."

A year went by and I noticed my recall letter on my corkboard.

Weird. Maybe I missed the letter?

I called Chrysler Canada (1-800-465-2001) to ask what was happening with this issue.


In fact, I found out that this recall has been in existence for several years with no remedy to the solution.

Let me remind you that this is not a complicated problem to fix; it is simply that the spring in the ignition switch is too short. Replacing a spring with a slightly longer spring should not take several years to do.  This is not a complicated part located in a difficult area to reach.

It is a spring. 

A five-cent piece of material. It is something that is used commonly in every country of the world, in a wide variety of uses. 

It's just a spring, you say, what's the big deal?

Well, the letter also goes on to state that until the repair is done, "under certain operating conditions (for example a bumpy road) the key could inadvertently move to the "ACC" (Accessory) position. This could cause unintended engine shut off, and the passive restraint systems, including airbags to shut off. This could increase the risk of crash under certain driving conditions and increase the risk of injury during crash."

It also goes on to say, "Chrysler is making every effort to provide the part as quickly as possible.  Chrysler will contact you by mail, when the remedy is available."

Really.  As quickly as possible.

I think in three years plus I could probably have fashioned my own spring by hand. Yes, I am using a sardonic tone. Surprise! (Sarcasm).

Then I find out that Canada does not have mandatory recalls!

No wonder this is taking so long.  Do I have to die first before we decide to write legislation that demands companies fix defective items that can kill people?

All Canada can do about this is ask politely that they replace these?

This is completely unacceptable.

Please, Honourable John Weston (MP for West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky), we need legislation that gives Transport Canada the ability to force a mandatory recall if required. I would like to ask you what I should do from here? How can I help change this legislation?

This is such a simple fix and yet Chrysler is dragging its heals to do anything.

How am I supposed to get Chrysler to fix this when apparently the company has no interest or incentive to do so?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Peter Skeels


Bike safety on B.C. highways

I'm writing on behalf of my great friend Kelly Blunden. Kelly and his friend Ross (Chafe) just lost their lives while riding their bikes on Highway 99. They can no longer speak, but they still have a voice.

The roads in B.C. are not setup to ride bicycles on... period. It's like it's an afterthought by the province. The fact cyclists are forced to ride on our roads is simply because they have nowhere else to ride.

The Sea to Sky highway had all the safety upgrades before the 2010 Olympics but for automobiles only. That's a shame.

There's rumble strips for cars, storm drains, debris on the narrow shoulders, random bike lanes that simply begin and end out of nowhere — the oversight list is long. But what are riders supposed to do?

Cyclists simply don't have room on our roads. That's the problem.  

Now the solution... We need to make room for bikes as part of the infrastructure. The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure for the Province of B.C. has guidelines documented with respect to the size of bike lanes.

The program is called "BikeBC." That document states the minimum width of a bike lane for a "shared roadway" is 4.3 metres. The Sea to Sky highway is nowhere near that. A lot of the time riders have less than 30 centimetres of space between them and a car. I haven't seen anywhere on Highway 99 where a rider has over four metres of room to safely ride... that needs to change.

I beg the province to do one of two things. Either provide a safe bike lane away from the existing highways completely, or change the existing highways to make room for cyclists. After all those upgrades for cars we've seen over the years, how many people have to die on their bikes before something changes for cyclists?

On the final day of "Bike to Work" week an allegedly impaired driver killed Kelly and Ross because they had no room to ride safely on Highway 99.

Please fix our highways, and please don't let this happen again.

Kelly, I hope you can rest in peace my dear friend. I'm gonna miss you.

Nigel Praine


Back on track

My husband had open-heart surgery last month and due to a difficult recovery we needed help.

We would like to thank the Whistler paramedics (Erica twice!), staff at Whistler Health Care Centre (twice!), staff at Squamish General Hospital, Dr. Rob Burgess (reading reports every day!) and Scott and Jane at RBC for all their kindness and top notch professional help during this frightening time.

We seemed to have done a grand tour of the Sea to Sky medical facilities, ending up once again at VGH from where we started this experience.

Now we are back in Whistler and would like to recognize everyone who helped us get back on track, including the good wishes of friends.

Bob is looking forward to beating his current ski-day record this coming season, and that's an attitude to be grateful for.

Thanks for making it possible.

Kathleen Smith


Toonie Race thanks

My 12-year-old son rode in his first Toonie race last Thursday, June 4. He loves biking and begged to go.

We drove from Pemberton, and although both of us were nervous, off he went. During his ride he got a flat tire — his back tire, which is a complicated fix for someone just learning. He tried to figure out what and how to repair his flat.

But then a great guy in my books stopped. He showed Jack how to change the tire while countless riders rode past.

Putting Landen (the great guy) at the end of the pack. This amazing guy stayed with Jack (my son) and encouraged him by having a race up one of the hills.

I cannot thank him enough. What a great community mountain biking is.

Brenda Lasnier


Green facility?

Stop me if you've heard this one. Several hundred, or possibly a thousand, people walk up to the trash compactor and toss in small amounts of garbage, close the door and walk away every day.

Ha, ha, ha — wait that's not funny.

What's funny is that nobody has thought to make these compactors manual. Instead we waste kilowatt after kilowatt of energy compacting tiny amounts of garage every time the door closes.

The attendants should be responsible for manually operating these machines throughout the day and compacting only when the hopper is full.

These recycling facilities are a waste of resources. We need to start thinking instead of just doing it "the same way it's always been done."

Clayton Dowling


Lessons from nature

The Grade 10/11 class of Whistler Waldorf School would like to thank Keenan Moses of Whistler Eco Tours and Chris Kaipio and Jeanie Cuisholm, our guides, for a spectacular canoe trip a couple of weeks ago. The trip was a huge success and could not have been done without the expertise and support of all these folks.

The trip itself took us to Indian Arm, a gorgeous fjord that extends north from Burrard Inlet. Chris and Jeanie were tremendously skilled and experienced paddlers and shared their knowledge with enthusiasm.

From them we learned essential skills such as the J-stroke, draw and pry, as well as how to manage some challenging wind and tides. The scenery was stunning and the weather generally quite cooperative.

One of the most stunning moments was paddling through a bloom of jellyfish, so thick the water seemed like pudding.

While we have had many opportunities to hike and camp in spectacular areas of B.C. with our class, this was our first paddling trip. Keenan, Chris and Jeannie – we couldn't have done it without you. 

Thanks Whistler Eco Tours!

Lohgan, Rhegan, Gabby, Kalea, Alexander, Jonah, Colin, Andrew, Jack, Shane, Ren, Rowan, Zac

Grade 10/11 Outdoor Education class

Whistler Waldorf School

Pemberton Paddle-A-Thon makes a big splash

On Saturday, May 23, 30 members of the Pemberton Canoe Association took part in a paddle-a-thon to raise $3,000 to support the club's developing flat-water program.

Paddlers of all ages and abilities, in canoes, kayaks and outriggers competed to achieve the highest number of laps of a pre-set 200-metre course in a half-an-hour. One Mile Lake was an exciting place to be between 9 a.m. and noon that day.

Generous donors pledged dollars for their favourite paddlers to a grand total of $3,900. The club is currently working to grow its flat-water and outrigger programs.

For these programs to enjoy the same success as the dragon boat programs, equipment and coaching staff are essential. The funds raised from the Paddle-a-Thon will allow the Pemberton Canoe Association to acquire new equipment and develop its coaches.

Sincere thanks go to our donors and to the Pemberton Valley Market who donated food and beverages for the event.

Thanks also to the Ronayne and Beaudry families for organizing and serving refreshments to the hungry paddlers.  

Thumbs up to all the paddlers who took part in this challenging event, and to the organizers and volunteers who made it happen.

For more information about club activities please contact:

Karen Tomlinson at 604-894-5626 or on ktoml@sd48.bc.ca

Marnie Simon



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