We have heard that it would cost $2 million to move Mr. Silveri's asphalt plant.
Now we are told that he is investing $2 million to bring a mobile asphalt plant to permanently reside at Cheakamus Crossing.
Since the plant is mobile, I suggest it be mobilized right out of town.
An asphalt plant, which gives off eight cancer-causing toxic air pollutants whose long-term effects have not been particularly well studied, has no business anywhere near residents.
Mr. Silveri apparently has stated he has never met anyone who has suffered a problem being close to an asphalt plant.
Maybe those people are now dead. Maybe he would like to recommend that his grandchildren take up residence alongside his plant.
There are numerous cases of governments downplaying the risks of industrial pollution and most often in what would appear to be collusion with the industries, which these governments are trying to maintain for the industrial activity in their respective jurisdictions.
Just (last month we had) the very unfortunate disaster in the Fukushima nuclear facility with the Japanese government not informing its own citizens of the inherent risk of spreading radiation in a timely fashion.
For those that are not old enough to remember, or council members who have chosen to forget, try Googling the following: Hooker Chemical and the Love Canal, Union Carbide and Bhopal, India, Chisso Corporation and Minamata, Japan, Grassy Narrows and Dryden Chemical and finally the Quebec Government and Asbestos Exports.
In each case the long-term problems of unborn fetuses, toddlers and long-term residents exposed to the chemicals from these plants have occurred years down the road with horrific consequences.
Let's just examine one example close to home: Among the people who had levels below Health Canada Guidelines for mercury poisoning at Grassy Lake, Ontario in 1975, 89 per cent were diagnosed with Minamata Disease or possible Minamata Disease in 2004.
Of those who had levels above the safe levels in 1974, none were alive in 2004, making long term studies of the after effects of mercury poisoning on the human body over extended periods somewhat inconsequential.
So getting back to Whistler, can anyone tell me why moving the asphalt plant 150 metres is going to solve anything - how can our so called "green mayor" call it a victory to now have an "improved asphalt plant" moved just 150 metres further from young families.
Even from an economic rationale the municipality should not buy into this, as the municipality cannot now sell its own townhouses or its property in Cheakamus, which are designated to pay off Olympic dreams and debts. Ignoring the health risk to those that bought in Cheakamus and the liability from those sales, simply the rationale of getting rid of the municipality's properties means we should get rid of the asphalt plant as soon as possible.
I expect this critique to fall on deaf ears, just as so much is met in concert with other complaints which are sent on to the mayor and council over the last year, however, we will see how such a response is met by the electorate later this year.
Geotourism is the future
I find it more than a little interesting that our Council has now brought in two consultants who are working with concepts of the past. First, we brought in Mr. (Steven) Thorne who has written a report on Cultural Tourism with some interesting ideas.
However, most tourism departments have long since abandoned the term cultural tourism in favour of geotourism, a phrase coined by Jonathan Tourtellot. Geotourism is defined as "tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place-its environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture, and the well-being of its residents."
Geotourism is more all encompassing and when you look at the demographics of our travelling public (see http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/pf/78009044.html ) geotourism would be much better applied to Whistler.
Why are we hiring a consultant that is so narrowly focused when so many other resorts have already moved on to a more all encompassing and demographically supported approach to attracting more customers?
Perhaps this is why Ted Milner, wisely, at least asked for a better definition of "cultural" tourism. More recently council has hired another expert from the East in the form of Rod Skinkle to advise them on post secondary opportunities.
This individual's historical research findings, as indicated by his appearances on Canada AM, are based upon domestic declining enrollments and traditional university models (see http://watch.ctv.ca/news/top-picks/student-shortage/#clip148578) .
Anyone who is looking to create a new-age post-secondary program is looking at entirely different program models that serve a global rather than domestic demand.
I was astounded when I realized Mr. Skinkle did not even know that, in B.C., all new universities and courses require the approval of the Department Qualification and Assessment Board (DQAB).
How can someone who is unaware of even the existence of this regulatory body in our province give sound advice to our Council?
I suspect we will get simply a numbers report that indicates historical rates of enrolments in various course offerings.
And how much have we paid for such reports?
It cannot be inexpensive to bring people from the east, pay their accommodation and travel, their per diem and their research time.
And for what? Reports that are anachronistic in their thinking and certainly pedantic in their approach. Council's approach befits the ranking of Canada in the OECD where we rank 16th out of 17th in our ability to be creative. Whistler deserves better! We need a council that focuses creatively on the future.
In the case of tourism, it means looking at geotourism not a single facet of this market. In the case of a university we need to focus on the under served in Canada and the needs of an enormous global demand for skill based post secondary education.
Dr. Doug Player
Earth Day is Every Day!
I would first like to congratulate everyone who participated in Earth Hour and helped Whistler reduced its power consumption by 4.35 per cent between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 26. Events like Earth Hour and Earth Day, which is coming up on April 22, are a great reminder that our actions have an impact on our environment.
For the past three years, Hilltrip organized an Earth Day Event, but this year Hilltrip is not doing an "Earth Day Event" per se; instead, we are going to celebrate the Earth on April 8 because we believe EARTH DAY is EVERY DAY and we know a lot of people will be busy enjoying the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival on April 22.
To make it happen, Hilltrip is teaming up with &Entertainment and Smooth Sound Productions to raise funds for AWARE (Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment) at their last BASS AT THE BASE party of the Winter Season, they will resume when the bike park will open.
Proceeds from the event and raffle will be donated to support AWARE's environmental initiatives. If you would like to donate a prize for the raffle, do not hesitate to contact AWARE at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-935-0772.
BASS AT THE BASE has been bringing underground electronic music to the village in a festival-style atmosphere since December 2010 at GLC, Whistler's best live music venue.
I had the pleasure of attending most of them as well as DJing at one of them and I am very happy to close the season by giving back to Mother Nature this Friday, April 8 at GLC. The event starts at 8:30 p.m. and will feature music from DJs &E, Miss Instigator, P.O.D (Stevie James), Phroh, Whatevan and myself, Miss KosmiK.
Thanks for caring!
On Thursday March 24, Twestival brought thousands of people from around the globe together in their respective cities to Tweet, Meet and Give. Twestival Whistler represented in a big way for our community, raising almost $6,000 for Zero Ceiling and donating the most money per capita out of all Twestival events around the world.
As the organizers of the first ever Twestival Whistler, Amber Turnau, social media strategist for Whistler Blackcomb and Michelle Leroux of Reine Communications, would like to send a huge thank you to the many community partners that helped put on one amazing event.
Big tweets and much love to Whistler Brewing Company, Origin Design and Communications, Pique Newsmagazine , Rebound Sound, Paintertainment and Candy Girls Tabetha Boot and Lauren Everest, Burnt Stew Computer Solutions, Ace Mackay-Smith, Big Mountain Rhythm, local artists Suzanne Johnston, Mark Colbert and Penny Eder Martyn, Purebread, Nester's Market, Nonna Pia's and the talented Anastasia Chomlack for our gorgeous event images.
Kasi Lubin, executive director of Zero Ceiling, also generously lent her time and expertise to the event, ensuring the silent auction was a huge success! We would also like to send special thanks to Heather Clifford, Dee Raffo and Quentin Emeriau for going above and beyond. We had so many friends and prizing partners help out, please see our event blog at www.whistler.twestival.com < http://www.whistler.twestival.com/ > for the complete list.
Thank you to everyone who came out to revel in a night of social media nerdery and plain ol' Whistler fun. For more adventures in Twitter please join Whistler's Social Media Nerdery group; we meet once a month and would love to see more of this amazing community come out! Find out about the next event here: http://www.meetup.com/WhistlerSocialMedia/
Michelle Leroux and Amber Turnau
One process one project
I am always amazed by the number of regulatory hoops run-of-river hydro projects have to jump through in this province.
It typically requires over 50 permits, licenses, reviews and approvals, from 14 regulatory bodies at the federal, provincial, local and aboriginal level, before one of these projects can be built.
With so much red tape and bureaucracy to have to navigate it's amazing that any run-of-river project ever gets built.
The part that really bothers me, though, is the amount of duplicated assessment work done between the various levels of government involved. In many cases, federal and provincial agencies are completely duplicating assessment and review work that has already been done by another agency.
That's unacceptable because it wastes precious tax dollars and results in unnecessary delays to projects, which in turn increases the risk and the cost of projects.
To fix the problem the provincial and the federal governments need to establish a unified federal‑provincial review process, one that does away with duplicated assessments and reviews and unnecessary costs.
A "one process-one project" approach would result in less government waste for taxpayers; less risk and uncertainty for run-of-river projects, and inevitably it would lead to more investment and jobs.
That's a win all around if you ask me.
Coquitlam B.C. V3K 1A9
Making a point of saying thanks
Thanks to everyone who helped out with The Point Artist-Run Centre Society fundraiser at Creekbread last Tuesday.
It was a fun and successful night thanks to the many local musicians who brought the place to life: Susan Holden, Sean Rose, Charlie Doyle, Peter Vogler, Dave Morris, LocalMotive Black Roses and others I'm surely forgetting; the artists, writers and photographers who donated works: Dave Buzzard, Lisa Geddes, Binty Massey, Finn Saarinen, Anne Popma, Susie Mortensen, Leslie Anthony, Love Jules, Blake Jorgenson, Bea Gonzalez, Rob Ebbs the Carpenter Guy, and Brother Twang; and the small artisanal businesses who donated auction items: Purebread, Whistler Roasting Co., Nonna Pia's, Whistler Brewery, Namasthé Teas, Art Junction, Paula Shackleton of Whistler Reads, Dusty's and of course Creekbread. And thanks to those who helped put it all together--Lisa Geddes, Dave Petko, Elise Harding, Stan Matwychuk, G.D. Maxwell, Vincent Massey and Steve Clark.
These are the creative individuals and businesses that give this place its character and stamp of originality. We look forward to putting on a truly homegrown, dyed-in-the-wool local arts festival this summer for the community and its visitors.
The Point Artist-Run Centre Society
Museum has awesome year so far
The Whistler Museum would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has helped us enjoy a very successful (and busy) start to 2011! We are very grateful for the support of the community as a whole.
On January 19, we kicked off our 2011 Speaker Series with John Hetherington's presentation to a sold-out crowd. The events on February 16 and March 16 proved equally popular and we look forward to continuing these evenings on the third Wednesday of every month. Two amazing speakers donated their time and energy in February and March- Murray Coates and David Malaher. Thank you to Starbucks Marketplace for sponsoring the Speaker Series. Another thank you goes out to Whistler Brewing, who came on board in March as a sponsor.
The Village Hosts enjoyed an evening at the Museum on January 24, with Stephen Vogler sharing some excerpts from his books, and we would like to extend our gratitude to them for their ongoing support in promoting us. Thank you to local tea company Namasthé for supplying the delicious tea for this event.
At the end of January, we held the Official Opening for our latest exhibit update, "Hosting the World." Olympic and Paralympic athletes Morgan Perrin, Justin Lamoureux and Lindsay Debou did the honour of cutting the ribbon. Great door prizes were donated thanks to Purebread, David's Tea, and Roger Weetman.
February 13 saw us welcome over 170 visitors to our Family Open House, sponsored by the Whistler Arts Council as part of the Celebrate Live portion of the Winter Arts Festival. Olympic-themed crafts led by Orkidz Art Studio proved highly popular.
On March 26, we had the opportunity to welcome a group of students from Whistler's sister city, Karuizawa in Japan. Isobel MacLaurin did a wonderful job of sharing a brief history of Whistler with the students (and some homemade chocolate chip cookies).
Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers and to our Board of Trustees - your time is always appreciated and valued.
We look forward to plenty of exciting events this summer!
Manager of Education and Marketing Whistler Museum and Archives