Letters to the editor for the week of November 22nd 

Sliding sports celebrate sliding

click to enlarge <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-242461p1.html?cr=00&pl=edit-00">Photography Perspectives - Jeff Smith</a> / <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/?cr=00&pl=edit-00">Shutterstock.com</a>

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With his partner Jon Reid, a Kiwi citizen from Auckland New Zealand, Martin is hoping to compete for New Zealand in the two-man Bobsleigh event at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, to take place in Sochi Russia. Training vigorously throughout the year here in Whistler, Martin and his brakeman partner have recently competed in Park City, Utah and Calgary, Alberta.

Next year Whistler is to become a regular part of the North America's Cup bobsleigh circuit, and in anticipation of this, Martin and his partner will be racing in Calgary again in two week's time as part of this year's North American Cup series, with plans to participate in the final two races at Lake Placid in March. This winter season's race plans also include St. Mortiz, Switzerland, and Sochi, Russia. The goal for this season is to earn World Cup ranking points in order to qualify for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

Tonight Nov. 22, Martin will be joined by his brakeman partner Jon and his many Whistler friends for a benefit evening at Black's Pub in Whistler, to take place between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Everyone will be welcome, including the many friends who attended last year for a very casual and enjoyable evening. In order to help support our Canadian and New Zealand athletes, a variety of apparel embroidered with the New Zealand bobsleigh logo will be available for purchase.

Doug Garnett

Whistler

Heliport rules put lives at risk?

Recently Transport Canada has better defined the law in reference to the Whistler Health Care Centre Heliport.

Even in a life or death situation it is illegal to land a single engine helicopter at the Heliport.

The Heliport was designated "H2" for multi-engine aircraft a couple years ago. There was a misunderstanding that in a life or death situation a single engine aircraft could land at the heliport. There is no room for misinterpretation any more — single engine aircraft will not be legally landing at the WHCC.

Therefore the current procedure is to fly to the Municipal Heliport north of Emerald, which adds another five minutes to flight time, 15 or more minutes for transfer from the helicopter to ambulance, as well as 15 minutes for the drive back to the clinic.

I do not believe this is an acceptable situation.

While the local helicopter operator has four multi-engine aircraft and they will make every effort to position one here on a regular basis, there is no guarantee that one will be available. It should be noted there is no contractual obligation to have a multi-engine aircraft based here. In the past it has been the single engine helicopters that were most often available for these types of operations, and have safely fulfilled the requirement.

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