Fortunately in offering us additional swimming docks on Alta Lake the municipality has built exterior showers to wash the swimmer’s itch from our skin. On the rocky banks of Alta Lake’s western shore, antiquated septic systems, some still consisting of old wooden boxes, others old septic fields sitting on rock, raw sewage can be seen running down the rock face towards Alta Lake.
After 20-plus years of neighbours voicing concern over the sewage emptying into Alta Lake, a study was recently ordered. Soil samples showed an appalling amount of sewage, between the homes and the lake. Galvanized chain holding docks in place, which formerly lasted 20 years, is now rusting after one year!
Last week’s newspaper presented the mayor’s “environmental priorities: We need protection of the Millar Creek wetlands and the Alpha Creek wetlands” said Ken Melamed. Does Whistler’s best swimming, boating, windsurfing, and fishing lake not deserve preservation?
The June 14 newspaper noted our water will soon become metered, low consumption toilets will be legislated — honourable environmental efforts, however, insignificant when weighed against allowing untreated sewage into our waterways.
There is a $5.8 million municipal hall face lift on the horizon. The library is now over $10 million. New expanded volleyball courts at Rainbow Park, and a new bridge at Lost Lake are attempts to improve the enjoyment of our parks. Perhaps something should be done to mitigate the smell and desecration of our lovely Alta Lake.
The municipality is focused on Whistler being an “environmentally sustainable community” for the 2010 Olympics. Ah, perhaps it’s only “for the eyes of the world”!
Explain the science
What is “The Natural Step” framework (also known
as TNS)? Although I counted the term at least 11 times in last week's Pique,
and I attended "Mr. Sustainability's" talk in Whistler on Friday
(whose interview accounted for seven of the 11 citations), I am still very
I first started looking into TNS when I heard
that it played a large role in the success of our 2010 bid by defining
“sustainability” principles for the Olympic games. The framework is based on a
16-page book by Karl-Henrik Robert (1997), that has since led to others writing
numerous books and "seeding a silent revolution".
For who? Dr. Robert was “a leading Swedish
cancer researcher”, but from the few peer-reviewed scientific publications he
co-authored he may have been no more than a research-assistant, grad-student,
or funder. The US-EPA even claims one of these publications to be based on
biased research steered by non-scientific interests.
The basic science I get from TNS is that
neither matter nor energy can be created or destroyed, and that we should
neither use more than can be replaced, or create more (waste) than can be
transformed, by nature. But, isn't climate changed-Earth trapping more energy
than it used to? And wasn't it Agriculture Canada's idea about recycling its
waste that led to cows being fed to each other, creating mad cow disease?
TNS framework allows businesses, industry and
municipalities to take basic laws of physics and turn them into something they
call “sustainable development”, which really means development (a growing
economy) being able to sustain itself forever.
“Mr. Sustainability” prides himself on not
putting freeways in Vancouver, but if you've tried to get to Richmond lately,
you'll realize that the only outcome of this is more traffic congestion, idling
and air pollution. Is that sustainable? No one mentions limits on growth, in
fact most of those involved with TNS on boards, writing books, teaching
classes, etc. are from the energy, manufacturing and financial sectors. For
example, Ray Anderson of Interface Inc., who you may remember as a star of the
(2004), has been instrumental
in the adoption of TNS by both industry and government.
I urge you to do your own research (if it's
Internet-based you may wish to disable java, plug-ins and cookies), write your
own letter, and please someone explain where the science is.
Early Adopters deserve credit
In the feature article about AWARE in last week’s Pique I was quoted about the beginnings of the sustainability initiative in Whistler through this community's adoption of the Natural Step Framework. In those comments I was speaking as a member of an Early Adopter organization and my comments referred to the hard work all the Early Adopters did, AWARE being only one member of that group. Some readers may have been left with the impression AWARE was responsible for starting the initiative which is not the case.
Credit for the beginnings of Whistler's journey to a more sustainable future goes to Whistler-Blackcomb, Tourism Whistler, The Fairmont Chateau, Whistler's Foto Source, The Resort Municipality of Whistler and AWARE.
The fantastic energy of all the people involved in the early days pays testimony to Margaret Mead's comment: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
A tip must be earned
Can anyone out there tell me why I tip? I’ve been living here in this mecca for sports now for around two years, wining and dining whenever I can, a spot of sushi here a three-course fine dining experience there, and to this day I can only describe the service that I’ve received from the restaurants, bars and clubs of Whistler as erratic and disappointing.
I’m from the UK, where tipping exists but is never expected, and I never thought that I would have such a problem assimilating such a simple concept as, “tip your server”. It seems that I can’t get my head around tipping without thinking. Even when service is terrible I’ve witnessed friends only tip the “minimum” 10 per cent because they have to leave something.
But my question is why? Because it’s expected? Because it’s polite? Because our server is being paid a pittance and we need to supplement their wage?
How about because I’m grateful for the quick, efficient and friendly service they have provided?
It seems to me that the latter is in short supply. Enumerable times have I been left idling as I wait for my bill, that more often than not has already had an “auto-grat” added. I’ve stood at a bar waiting for the tender to stop chatting to his/her friend who is looking for a “gratuity” themselves.
I will tip in the future, but only when the service is to the level that deserves a tip and not because my server thinks they deserve one.
Lights, cyclists, action
I read today about the crackdown and fines imposed on cyclists for not wearing bicycle helmets. I only somewhat agree with this law as I feel if someone wants to leave their brains on the road, it generally affects them, except for the ugly job of cleaning it up left to the police, and the fact that we all have to pay for their re-hab… if they live.
I feel another situation is being more than greatly overlooked. Why are cyclists allowed, or tolerated to drive on public roads without lights or reflectors at twilight and after dark?
If a person rides without a helmet this affects them — if a person rides without lights in darkness this affects me.
It is tremendously unnerving and very dangerous to be driving on Highway 99 and be continually startled by this. A flashing reflector light retails for $7.99, so it is hard to imagine that price is the issue.
I believe it’s time for the police to pay some attention to this. I have had to go into the oncoming lane suddenly on more than one occasion, and feel this issue is way over due for police and cyclists’ attention.
Motorist & cyclist
A voice for the woods
I am writing this letter regarding the three cut blocks that have been clearcut in 2006 (in the Haylmore region behind N’Quatqua reserve). Once again, there was no meaningful consultation with the people in the community about the laid out blocks. This timber harvesting wiped out the winter range for the deer as well as habitat for other animals that use that area located within our traditional territory.
It seems to me that they planned to do this clear-cut in the winter, thinking that we as the people of N’Quatqua would not likely set up a fire and protest these blocks during the cold winter months.
Could it be that BCTS and the MoE are targeting areas that are habitat for animals? They are putting all these animals in danger of being wiped out and showing no respect for the air, berries, herbs, animals, or water. Without good drinking water, food to eat, or shelter, the animals will not survive due to poor logging management by BCTS and MoE.
When I was dealing with CP 16 last year, I made it clear in my two affidavits that went to the Supreme Court of B.C. that I won’t accept any more logging in our traditional territory. I said, “enough is enough.” One person who logged off all the timber he could in his own area told me that now they plan to come into our territory and “scalp” all our valleys of our timber! The people that logged up behind my house in Devine said that they would deactivate these roads that they build after harvesting, but so far, they have not lived up to those words.
Every time logging takes place in our traditional territory, it seems that these logging roads open up access to those who own motorcycles and ATVs. Often times they go off these roads and build illegal ATV trails that are going into the mountains and into our hunting grounds. This kind of activity is ripping up our alpine, ruining the herbs and berries we use for the winter. Furthermore, because their feeding grounds are being desecrated, the animals come down into the lower valley in search of food and make themselves more vulnerable to man and machines.
Logging in our traditional territory has gone too far and pretty soon all the animals will have no place to go. I am not afraid to say that it is because the dollar comes first, before anything else, not caring about habitat-protected areas.
I am glad that our people are speaking out and sending a message to BCTS, the MoF and MoE. We will not tolerate our resources being stripped from us so carelessly right before our eyes. Who gives BCTS permission to come into our territory and do as they please with our resources? We, the people should have the right to decide whether we want logging to take place or not. I will not stand around and wait until all I can see is a scalped mountain. More to come.
Qawam (Ryan Peters)
How do we explain this to our children?
It is truly a shame that the most recent FPB report on Cutting Permit 16 above Anderson Lake reflects our government and decision makers’ disregard for wildlife habitat, even though the area has been designated as a “full deer protection area” by the St’at’imc Land and Resource Authority, and as a mule deer winter range by the LRMP process. Has it not?
What was not covered in the FPB report is that if the CP 16 clear cut patches were to proceed last year, the profit coming back to the community of N’Quatqua may have been something like $3 or $4 per old growth tree. It would have been an act of gross exploitation by the Ministry of Forests and Range. I wonder who gets all the profit from selling old growth timber after the band gets a little “chum” change?
Community members are encouraged to get involved by voicing their concerns about the activities affecting our lands and resources. Currently, the disputed Blackwater Mushroom patch is in its seventh week of hosting a peaceful protest. Once again the MoF and MoE seem to have ignored wildlife habitat here, not to mention the St’at’imc cultural use of the land, among other things. Please visit the website at www.saveblackwaterbc.org to find out more.
I say let’s work together, participate, ask more questions, and attend meetings to support the efforts of our band and local leaders in the work ahead that is much needed to continue to examine how our land and resources could be managed with a lot more sense than it has in the past. All land and resource matters are St’at’imc issues. I speak for the interest of our St’at’imc children; this is my responsibility.
There is much to learn, get informed, and the people have the opportunity to exercise their authority to express out loud and then follow-up with what needs to be done. St’at’imc people and our children are the rightful owners of the land.
There needs to be a serious review of forestry practices in this province. How does the proper community consultation process take place, step by step, in a way that respects the culture and the traditions that belong to the aboriginal people? If we want a sustainable future, destructive resource extraction that flies in the face of sound environmental practices and of the constitutionally-protected Native Rights can no longer be accepted. Otherwise, what are we to tell our children?
A big thank
you to WHA!
I just want to
say thanks so much to the Whistler Housing Authority for offering such an
awesome program. I am the proud new owner of affordable real estate with a
million dollar view! (If ever the sun comes out!)
Whistler walks all over cancer
This past Saturday, June 16th, Whistler raised over $20,000 in the first Whistler Cancer Awareness and Prevention Walk Fundraiser. This event attracted participants to individually raise funds for their 25km walk or their 5km walk. Immediately following the event there was an afternoon reception to continue the fundraising efforts through raffles, 50/50 and a silent auction.
We would like to thank the 68 participants who attended this inaugural event and made the commitment to raise awareness and funds. Thank you!
We would also like to thank our smiling rain suit clad volunteers: Cam Gore; Kelly Barber; Gary Barber; Mara Glouberman; Jeff Anderson; Chris Sanders, Michelle Rideout, Annabelle Fawcett, Zoe Barker, Tracy Graham, Sara Tuchtie, John Shelley, Jeff Dunn, Armelina, Ian Pickersgill, and Lisa Davidson.
We would like to thank the Entertainment volunteers who played all afternoon and into the evening: “G” Willy, Joel, Sarah & James McLachlan, Dave Mcpeak, Mike Mcdonald, Jeff, Jason McGaw.
One-hundred per cent of the funds raised went directly to the cause because of our generous sponsors. Thank you!
Thanks to all! You made the difference and we could not have done it without you. Thanks for braving the weather on Saturday. You certainly have made Whistler Cancer Awareness and Prevention Walk a true success in its first year.
Please mark your calendars for next year’s event: June 14, 2008. We are already planning to make it bigger and better!
Fifty per cent of all cancers can be prevented. Please be proactive about your health.
Shannon Byrne Susko
Whistler CAAP Walk Organizers
Many hands keep dock afloat
Thank you for the article on the Fairhurst fishing dock opening ceremony on Wednesday last week (June 13).
Environment Minister Barry Penner, however, was not at the event as stated in the article. Instead, the Whistler Angling Club was honored to have West Vancouver MLA Joan McIntyre attend in his place. Mayor Ken Melamed and Ms McIntyre launched the dock with a ceremonial fly cast. Ken Melamed then donated the flyrod to the Angling Club for a fundraiser.
We were honoured to have flyfishing icon, Brian Chan of the Freshwater Fisheries Society present for the opening, Florence and Andy Petersen, with Karen Overgaard, attended the ceremony on behalf of the Whistler Museum.
Also present were the President of the Freshwater Fisheries Society, Don Petersen, Ministry of Environment officials John van Hove, Duane Jesson and Iain Lund.
Students from the Alta Lake school enjoyed a Learn2Fish program, then helped release 50 Cutthroat trout into Alta Lake with assistance from Freshwater Fisheries Society staff.
Also, the article stated the dock cost a total of $20,000 to build. This is incorrect — the dock is expected to cost $64,000 over a 15-year lifetime. $20,000 was provided towards the construction by ACTnow B.C., with matching funds provided by the RMOW. Substantial in kind donations were made by the Whistler Angling Club and Ministry of Environment.
We are fortunate to have this asset in our community. Thank you to all who made it happen.
Whistler Angling Club
I look to the mountains and see beauty
The majestic peaks, strong and exposed,
clad in snow and cloaked with emerald trees.
A light wind ripples the log strewn waters.
I sit by the lake, gazing into the distance
Across the dark icy waters to the vast swathes of forests.
There is stillness and calm.
The solitude is comforting.
Nature embraces me with its continuity of life's cycles.
I rest and reflect feeling gratitude,
Able to linger and appreciate the beauty and tranquility.
It is here my darling I will place a remembrance.
A remembrance to the life we loved.
I will rest here where you would have rested.
Tracking the birds in flight, listening to nature's music,
Caressed by shafts of dappled light,
reflections and muted shadows.
Where better to leave a symbol of our love?
Here with nature's spectacle set before me.
A place where I may find rest.
Restore my damaged soul.
I will come here to grieve and search for strength and healing.
To a place you would have lingered.
It will be our sanctuary.
A place where our spirits can roam free,
Reunited, together once more.
A place of harmony and peace.
Where we will be as one.
Where I can imagine the gentle breeze is the kiss of your soft tender lips.
I will dream of our love and passion,
Surrounded by magnificence.
In memory of my husband Rupert MW Bale, September 27, 1947-May 9, 2006, and in gratitude to my wonderful friends in Whistler who have given me strength and support at a time of great sadness and loss. Thank you all.
– Alida J Droppert