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Beating the London Drugs horse, may I have a tax break X 2, fatal ironies, one lucky bear, poo-pooing Whistler, and give peace a chance

Case in point Sunday, March 11 th , and it’s raining to the top of the mountain, depending on whose weather report you listen to. And the village is near full with many visitors from south of the boarder.

Case in point

Sunday, March 11 th , and it’s raining to the top of the mountain, depending on whose weather report you listen to. And the village is near full with many visitors from south of the boarder.

Simple question: what would be driving more revenue in the village right now if it existed, cheap toilet paper and DVD players or a place for our guests to recreate indoors with their children?

Council did not vote against London Drugs, they voted against changing the village design (5,000 sq. ft.) for retail outlets. Thereby, not setting bad precedents. They voted in-line with the $75,000 Sustainable Retail Strategy they commissioned. Which clearly stated, to keep the underground as recreation and not to bring large “box” retailers into the village.

That underground space gives us an opportunity to have more amenities for the people who really pay the bills around here, our guests. Good call don’t you think, given we are the only Resort Municipality in Canada. A place designed for tourism.

If your concern regarding driving to Squamish for stuff is ecological, read The Downhill Slide by Hal Clifford. The ski industry is rife with hypocrisy. To be plain, none of us should be living in the valley bottom. We move here because we love nature, yet our love destroys the object of our adoration.

How ironic that the Pique edition with council’s retail decision had an article on Bob McIntosh’s wife’s speaking tour with her husband’s killer. Being a shining light of forgiveness. Yet, since that time letters to the editor have had calls for retribution to our present council.

We have the most over qualified, under paid work force in Canada. Some really amazing outside-the-box thinkers, yet we still hold on to old adages like “what the market will bare”. Enough consultants, let’s do things. Hire the “Retail Liaison Co-ordinator” suggested in the strategy document. Create diversity in our offerings.

If you are still concerned about finding London Drugs a home, convince them a home in Function Junction will work and/or talk to the landlords in the village; convince them that lease rates can not go up every year forever.

Or put some energy into getting our village back at night. Saturday night’s shooting was almost inevitable. The quality of some of our weekend guests has been deteriorating for years (10) and has driven locals away from evening entertainment. We can control it all, if we choose to. We can dream big dreams and be a demonstration of what’s possible. We’ve invited the World’s biggest Winter Circus to come play with us, let’s maximize that opportunity.

Cheers to everyone’s passion in this matter. Can we let the venom go now?

Scott Kittleson

Whistler

Me too, please

Dear benevolent council. As you are in such a generous mood these days, I would like to request a break on my taxes. I own and operate an art gallery, and I’m thinking about expanding my business four-fold so that a greater presence of the arts is available to our guests, thus hopefully boosting occupancy rates in the resort by drawing on the visitors who want an alternative to skiing/biking etc. I really need this tax exemption in order to provide an adequate investment return on my expansion. A couple of hundred grand should suffice. My shareholders (me) thank you in advance for your time and understanding.

Harvey Lim

Whistler

Bizzarro economics

Hmmm, let me try to figure this one out.

Whistler is essentially gifting $1 million over five years to five American principals of Fortress, each of which is worth personally over $2.5 billion. Even our federal government attaches strings to foreign aid. Hmmm, each one could afford to pay for the Olympics individually, man they're rich.

The Peak to Peak project would have gone ahead without the gift. Hmmm, the Muni must be overflowing with money. Note to self, apply for tax relief, wish I was a billionaire, it might help.

Concurrently, Fortress is laying off 100 employees in Vancouver who were likely contributing about $3 million a year to the Canadian tax base. Some of these unfortunates will now become a draw on revenues if they collect U.I.C.

At the same time, council shuts out a B.C. company, London Drugs, which would by my estimate save residents of Whistler about $200,000 a year. Additionally, this company would provide employment and be the first private enterprise to offer free parking in the village core. I'm a bit surprised, their application was rejected, especially as over 70 per cent of residents favoured the store.

On top of all this, the Muni is looking for additional fees to cover a deficit at Meadow Park and other sports programs, about $200,000 a year I'm told, exactly equal to the tax break gifted to these lucky Wall Street sharks.

Putting pen to paper for some estimates, these decisions are going to cost the average residential family about $200 a year. But even more importantly those that can least afford it — the elderly, who use the pharmacies more, and families with children, who use both the sports programs and the pharmacies — will pay even more.

Let's estimate $300-$500 a year for them.

Just checked my mail and the Porsche Club is cancelling their Whistler Weekend after 24 years of enjoying it up here, citing better value elsewhere. Was this the longest any club without a winter association has been coming here? Sun Peaks’ gain, our loss. Hmmm, if Porsche drivers have trouble with our costs who else?

This topsy-turvy financial equation is beginning to make some sense, for we have a mayor whose first order of business was to initiate a big raise for himself.

Eureka, I've figured it out. It's like that children's game where the kids do the opposite to what they're told to do and what is logical.

Lennox McNeely

Whistler

Drunken Games

My heart goes out the family of the man killed Saturday night in the Village Square. They came here from Lebanon seeking to live in peace. Instead they mourn the loss of their son to more senseless violence they hoped they had escaped.

I applaud the RCMP's increased presence in the village. It led to their eyewitness account and an immediate arrest.

I am shaken by the news though because my deepest dread has been realized. In my eyes Whistler is the embodiment of the term Global Village. It's not a ski town, a golf resort or a mountain biking Mecca. It's a venue for humanity to celebrate life and home to those who want to outright live it.

But if Whistler is going to host this celebration then it has to step up to the responsibility. Alcohol, by far, is the most abused drug in the world and it sure gets its fair share of abuse here. I see vomit everywhere when I come to work in the morning. It's an appalling reminder of what goes on at night.

People are being over served. If you are a server in Whistler, you are not party to the party, you are in charge of the party. Management has to ensure that staff don't ignore their responsibility for a fat tip.

The standard for intoxication in Whistler presently is obnoxious behaviour. That is well short of professional service.

When the investigation of this man's death is completed and the RCMP find that the killer was in X, Y and Z bars before hand, are they going to be able to make the case that this guy had too much to drink? Are those who served him going to say, I didn't pull the trigger? Whistler has dodged a bullet for a long time and finally someone couldn't get out of the way.

Brian Walker

Whistler

WITH PHOTO

Sweet support for Candy

Critter Care Wildlife Society would like to express its deepest gratitude to Whistler Home Hardware, Get Bear Smart Society, Mr. Ed Zinkevich and all the people of Whistler for coming to the aid of "Candy", a young black bear cub hanging around the dump in Whistler.

She hitched a ride and ended up in Squamish, where she was picked up by the Conservation Officer and brought to Critter Care in early December. She is doing very well and gaining much needed weight.

A short time after her arrival at Critter Care another young cub was admitted and placed with her. They have now bonded very closely and it is hoped that we are allowed to release them together.

It is wonderful to see how the general public has stepped up to the plate in support of all black bear cubs and all wildlife in general. Thank you all.

Gail Martin

Founder/Executive Director

Critter Care Wildlife Society

A crappy shade of green

As a frequent visitor to Whistler from overseas, I am a little confused about the “green” image Whistler projects of itself. I'm referring to the dog feces. Not the odd bit of dog poop left behind by the occasionally irresponsible dog owner, but to the massive volumes of unspeakable excrement that grace every metre of the Valley Trail system. In terms of looking after your environment, the RMOW gets a failing grade in this regard.

Dog turds of the volume currently washing out of the winter snowbanks are truly staggering and indicate a disregard by dog owners of societal norms. It also speaks loudly of the RMOW's callous disregard for both the health of creeks and lakes and the impression it leaves on visitors like myself. It stinks and is nauseatingly repulsive. An equivalent amount of human feces along the trails would be an outrage and would surely involve the health authorities.

Do the right thing and get the message out that leaving your dog's crap on the ground is a shitty thing to do. Fine them, provide information and doggy bags, then fine them some more if they still don't get it.

Dan Cummins

Brisbane, Australia

Your pooch, your poo

The Whistler Golf Club driving range is closed in winter. The nets are taken down and the back gate is left open making it a popular short cut to the village. It is also a popular playground for local dog owners. The wide open space provides sufficient area for dogs to play and drop steamers at their leisure.

The habit of controlled localized pooping is one that man's best friend has yet to master. We are lucky if they make it out of doors. With the increase of pet population in urban and suburban areas over the past half-century, it has become mandatory that dog owners remove and dispose of K-9 ka-ka. Whistler dog owners have been left behind in the advancement of doggy decorum.

Over the winter, hundreds of Whistlerites have allowed their pups to prance and poo in the driving range pow. The warm waste sinks out of sight and out of mind. A responsible pet owner would come equipped with plastic bags, pooper scoopers and snowshoes. Upon noticing that fido is about to drop a depth charge from the poop deck, the responsible dog owner springs into action. With two great bounds they arrive at the scene in time to catch the falling feces in the pooper scooper and toss the turd neatly in a plastic bag. They quickly tie a square knot and four half hitches and tuck the bag neatly in their purse for safe keeping. When they arrive at home they dispose of the doggy deposit in the trash bin.

Unfortunately, it seems those who let their pets roam the driving range are not responsible pet owners. The proof is the unsightly state of the driving range. The melting snow has revealed hundreds of piles of poo. Within one metre of the driving range path leading through there are at least 86 different deposits (yes, I counted) and the number increases with each rainy day. Soon, all the snow will melt and the entire driving range will be a shit infested cesspool. Perhaps people have not caught on to the fact that Whistler Village is no longer the town dump.

I am standing on the sidewalk breathing heavy. I held my breath for 56 seconds while crossing the driving range. The sun is shining. It is warm and the pungent smell of melting poop makes me nauseous. I looked at my right shoe and notice it is stained with slimy brown defilement. I swear. I pick up a stick and began to scrape the nasties from my boot. An old man in a long green coat comes over the path. His dog follows close behind. He holds up a clear plastic bag half full of dog logs. I guess I am the only one, he says. I smile and say, thank you.

Chael MacArthur

Whistler

What is sacred?

CAUTION: This article advertising peace on earth contains highly charged, honest, sensitive, subjective, emotional matters urgently requiring an all hands on deck, this ship is sinking response. Nuclear threats loom over the entire planet. Millions of people are suffering in the Middle East due to unnecessary force being imposed upon them by the Canadian government and their allies. Traveling has become unsafe, something my generation took for granted. Thousands upon thousands of Canada's First Nations people live in poverty and endure extreme hardships and racism because their human rights are being denied. The Canadian government refuses to be truthful and show responsibility for the “Silent War” being imposed on these people since the arrival of Cristobal Colon.

As a result, the defenders of these people are seen as radicals, troublemakers because civil disobedience is their only source of protecting their rights and mother earth. We must immediately begin re-educating our youth and children about Canada's true history and Canada’s role in the “War on Terror”. Ultimately, our world leaders and our government are acting like bullies in our earth’s beautiful playground and this is utterly, morally wrong. We must commit to understanding each other and sharing our planet’s resources.

On March 17, 2007, the Canadian Peace Alliance has initiated a “Call To Action” across our Nation. Our world is in a crisis situation and collective measures of relief are needed pronto. An immediate outpouring of compassion and empathy needs to begin and we must start re-instilling lost values of softness, sensitivity and respect in our children and in our relationships.

If you hear this call, taking action requires a lifelong commitment and intense personal and community involvement. Action must be immediate, not deferred for two weeks!

For those with a conscience and feelings for our First Nations, we are obliged to physically stand up and demand our educational books be re-written and that the federal government stop being so cowardly and face up to the “Native Issue” in Canada so we don't have a repeat of Caledonia this summer. And start listening to the people, polls and protests disagreeing with our participation in the Middle East.

Our youth need to become more worldly about current events and not left in the dark. I plead to our youth because your near future is at the greatest risk and you youth have the raw, vibrant energy to make peace visible. Any attempts of public displays of peace are encouraged. All ideas are considered vitally important and have extreme intrinsic worth. Let's make peace a disease we all catch.

On this day, March 17, I wanted to have a parade and throw a big party for this call to action but my resources were limited and time wasn't on my side. Instead, we're having a peace and unity open house where I live, starting at daybreak. I would like to send a special invitation to all those who signed my petition. Your support was immeasurable! So if you’re in the lands of the undefeated, home of the friendliest people around, Mt. Currie, British Columbia, feel free to drop by. Guns absolutely forbidden but all hand drums and musical instruments encouraged. We'd love to see you.

Heidi Stoecklin

Mt. Currie




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