Letters to the editor for the week of August 9th, 2012 

Birken debate drifting

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With respect to the Birken Community Centre, it's ironic how a project that was meant to bring the community together has the potential to do the opposite. While engagement and debate can be healthy, I urge my neighbours to be civilized as we iron out our differences.

It seems the opinions have become overly political, aggressive and drifting off in tangents. I'm confused how the fire hall has become a major component. As a volunteer firefighter myself, I can assure everyone that location and facility has been, and will always be, a community asset. I can also attest that we do not need to upgrade that building to lower our insurance premiums.

What we need is a new truck and more volunteers. That, however, is a different source of funding (and a different issue).

Personally, I feel the more real estate we have in our community the better. At this point, I fear if the debate continues the way it has, we will be left with nothing.

Mike Roger


How soon we forget

Two weeks of articles in the paper on how the poor asphalt production industry is feeling unfairly treated has reminded me how short our memories are.

How soon we forget that for decades we had a monopoly situation and once the community pressured our local government to finally go to tender we saved 22 per cent from Alpine's price. Is it safe to scratch our taxpayer heads when in nine years $7.1 million tax dollars went to Alpine (not including parking lots and Olympic work)?

How soon we forget that Alpine already moved their portable asphalt plant described in their license of occupation as "temporary asphalt plant" from another quarry but for some reason it appears it can never move again. If this is the case why do their licenses exist in five and 10-year blocks?

How soon we forget that Squamish finally also went to tender two years ago and in a recent staff report claims a $200,000 per year savings each year in asphalt costs since doing so.

How soon we forget that unfortunately shortsighted planners thought heavy industry creating dust, noise, toxins and quality of life issues would not be a problem next to 1,000 people living a few hundred metres away, even if in closed meetings they were worried about these things.

How soon we forget that times change and quarries open and close throughout this province but for some reason there appears to be gold in this one.

How soon we forget we live in a community that strives for healthy living; that brags to the world to come and enjoy our clean fresh mountain air.


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