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Daycare staff deserve recognition

As a parent that was affected by the first round of Spring Creek closures, I was extremely saddened to hear about the final closure of the Bear Cubs program at Spring Creek Daycare Centre.

As a parent that was affected by the first round of Spring Creek closures, I was extremely saddened to hear about the final closure of the Bear Cubs program at Spring Creek Daycare Centre. Once again, more families will be without the care they so desperately need. Daycare in Whistler is in a state of crisis that needs immediate attention and partnership from all levels of government.

However, the focus of this letter is to publicly acknowledge the incredible teaching staff in all of the Whistler Children's Centre programs. They too have had an extremely stressful time over the past few months. They have had to deal with very strong emotions from parents, children trying to adjust to new programs and routines, staff shortages, licensing issues, stress arising from decisions that were not their own and not knowing what their futures may hold.

All that while not getting paid nearly enough.

Through it all they have loved and cared for our children with constancy, enthusiasm and determination. Despite all of the upheaval that we've been going through, I know that thanks to the wonderful teachers, my daughter is well-cared for, happy and learning new skills every day.

We are facing a critical staffing shortage in Whistler, but for the staff we do have - thank you. We are very appreciative of you being here and your daily efforts. Something we may not say enough. We trust you with the most important pieces of our lives, our children.

Lisa St-Amand

STV gives orphan voters a home
The reason no one is talking about the changes to B.C.'s electoral map proposed under the STV system (Pique letters, Feb. 26) is that electoral districts are not the issue. The notion of having one MLA representing and battling for one tiny region of the province exclusively is nearly as archaic as the first-past-the-post system that this referendum will hopefully eliminate, and both need to be changed if we are ever to reach something approximating true democracy.

While the letter writer feels that his "local representation" will be diluted by the proposed changes, has he ever considered how the group of "orphan voters" created in every FPP election, typically 50-65 per cent of the voters in a riding, will have their representation vastly improved? Rather than having just the citizens who voted for the winner get a voice in the Legislature, many different MLAs will better represent the broad range of opinions that exist in every part of the province.

Placing politicians with a variety of ideological and regional loyalties in a situation where they must work together in the best interest of the province as a whole, and EVERY voter within it, can only lead to more honest and truly representative decisions. First-past-the-post has lead to increasing voter apathy, particularly in young people, and resulted in vote swapping schemes created by citizens desperately trying to have some say in government within a system that denies them a voice. These are important issues that the STV system would address, and even if one does not see the change that leaves MLAs less restricted by regional ties as positive (as I do), it is hard to deny that giving more people a fair vote is a more important result.

Visit for accurate information, and don't forget to vote on May 12th: it may soon be worth your time!

Erin Iwaniuk

Back to The Origin
It is not usually my practice to shoot the messenger. Paul Carlucci can be the exception. He is, however, not alone.

Over the past century arguments have been made, court cases won and lost, and probably more than one life taken, over creation vs. evolution. I wonder how much of that pain could have been prevented if reporters had done their homework. How many books would not have been banned if reporters or editors had read them first?

Never in his life did Charles Darwin write a book called Origin of the Species. Never did he claim that we descended from apes. He did, however, write a book called The Origin of Species. It is a book mostly about plants. In it he contemplates the probability of divine creation. How else could life adapt so well?

It's a great book. Someone ought to read it some time.
Murray Gamble

Whistler's gift to athletes
The Get Bear Smart Society would like to express their support for Councillor Thomson's idea to provide each Olympic athlete with a medallion with which they can remember their Whistler experience. We think it's a great idea! Not only will the gold, silver and bronze medal winners go home with a coveted prize, but all those who participated would be honored as well, taking home a keep sake of their magnificent achievement.

We particularly like the idea of having a black bear adorn the piece. After all, when people think of visiting Whistler, they dream of catching a glimpse of a black bear. What could be a more iconic representation of our community than one of our resident bruins? They are part of the Whistler experience and lifestyle. We're also in favor of Councilor Thomson's idea to have school children present the medallions. Children represent the future with joy and enthusiasm. What a memorable and inspiring experience for our young Whistlerites to be a part of.

The bear "totem" represents strength, leadership and courage. It will help guide our athletes with balance, harmony and strength and inspire them to be the best they can be whatever their future endeavor.

And so, we would like to voice our support for the Olympic bear medallion as Whistler's gift to all the athletes who worked hard and did their very best.

Sylvia Dolson
Executive Director,
Get Bear Smart Society

Best ski school experience ever!
I wanted to make a compliment to Miyuki for helping me so much this year. This year I had so much fun. And I even made a friend, named Ronin. Miyuki showed me a lot of techniques and abilities. Just wanted to say thanks to Miyuki. I feel the Monday ski school program is very important and would like to see it continue.

P.S. I also want to thank the groomers for all their hard work this year and making our ski hill awesome!

Samantha Lucas, age 8
Myrtle Philip Community School

Muni doesn't get it
I am writing to express my disappointment in the notice placed in Pique Newsmagazine this week, Thursday, Feb. 19th, regarding the closure of the Valley Trail at Lorimer Road extending to Rainbow Park from Feb 23rd to May 31st for the completion of the pipeline work.

Once again the Muni does not get it. It's late February, there is plenty of snow on the ground, the sun is shining and we are going to pull up stakes and close the only dog-friendly skate/cross country ski trail within the municipal boundaries. As residents of Alpine Meadows we use this trail on a daily basis and find the idea of it being closed before the end of the cross-country season as ludicrous as when it was going to be closed throughout the entire year for this project.

Surely we could forego the reopening of the trail during our typically wet and miserable June and delay it until Canada Day, and let's face it if you have been here long enough you know that only on the rarest of years does the temperature become lake-friendly before Canada Day.

I would ask that this closure be reconsidered and ask as to why the notice was placed so closely to the closure date, on such a small space within the Pique Newsmagazine, as if to avoid a public outcry.

John Morrow

Watersheds need support of all
I have been involved in watershed stewardship activities and a supporter of AWARE for many years but I won't be attending the upcoming talk by Robert F. Kennedy.

The segregation of the VIPs from the masses who cannot afford the green seats or the $125 reception tells me something is very wrong with this scenario. Healthy watersheds movements need the support of the masses. Charging the same admission to everybody and giving the unwashed the same opportunity to listen and get close to Mr. Kennedy would help. The well-off can always make a donation to an appropriate environmental cause without demanding the priority perks.

While we are on a sustainability theme, AWARE must be aware that the ongoing trend towards the concentration of wealth in the pockets of a few is unsustainable.

I am reminded of the evening with Stephen Lewis a year ago. We all scrambled for the same seats. It was a great evening.

Hugh Naylor, VUP

Leave it alone
On March 1st, as they always do, crews working for the municipality started to remove the snow from the stretch of Valley Trail that runs between Meadow Park and Tapley's. I've heard that it has something to do with their budget, but all it really does is make the trail completely useless.

When they are done plowing there will be patches of concrete and snow so you can't cross country ski it or ride a bike along it, and the uneven ground will make it pool and large puddles form, making it terrible for walking. I just don't see why they can't just wait to plow until the snow is almost gone in the spring. Even if they just stopped grooming it or cut down the grooming it would be better than trying to plow the entire snow pack off. It is extremely frustrating and I'm sure that I'm not the only person it bothers.

Stefan Vagelatos

The giant pyramid scheme
I want to put my mother's face on this economic crisis. It could have been mine. I worked at GM for about two years but left when an HR clerk called me a misfit. I tried but just couldn't quit reading the writing on the wall. My mother didn't work at GM because she was too busy looking after me and my four siblings. Mom is still able to look after me because my father managed to work at GM for 35 years and she is the beneficiary of his pension. Mom hasn't yet been told if she will be losing her pension but it would seem my mother will be one of many millions sacrificed to Economy.

Unlike the pundits who know what they are talking about, I see no hope in an economy its high priests insist demands human sacrifices. Watching efforts to restore the functions of a mythical junkie addicted to ever-increasing infusions of cash leaves me in despair. It is beyond reason why we cling to an imaginary god who organizes us into a giant pyramid scheme with a relatively small class of wealthy people at the top riding a larger workhorse middle class over a relatively huge class of poor living in horse shit.

I was utterly disappointed to learn President Obama's idea of "change we can believe in" was to strengthen the middle class and to restore the "American Dream" so kids playing basketball with hoops having no net could dream of having a basketball court in their own house. Each time I saw Obama I urged him to ignore the possibility of political crucifixion and inspire the transition from an out of control vertical economy to a horizontal economy we control; and in which though all people are created with unique capacities, each is equally able to access "life," "liberty" and the means to pursue "happiness."

Sadly he hasn't heard me and he probably never will for in a world wide web of experts I have absolutely no credibility. I am a 62-year-old carpenter, a misfit still supported by my mother, living in  fantasy land, whose writing is off the wall. So I'm thinking, maybe Obama reads Pique.

Doug Barr

A Haus for two
The Whistler Nordics Cross Country Ski Club and WORCA would like to thank the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation for $150,000 in funding toward the Austrian Passive Haus.

The building, to be known as "Austria House," will be located at the entrance to Lost LakeTrails. After the Games it is to be given to Whistler for community use and a portion of the building will be named after the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation.

The grant is given to and administered by the Resort Municipality of Whistler. The fund will be used for the benefit of an office/club space for the Whistler Nordics and WORCA post-Olympics. The Passive Haus will provide the clubs a much-needed home base, meeting space, storage, office space and gathering spot. Both WORCA and the Whistler Nordics worked together on the grant application.

The Austrian Passive Haus would not have been possible without the participation of the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation. We are certainly very appreciative of the facility and the potential it provides for the clubs, community participation and ongoing athlete development. Thank you again.

Tom Barratt
President, Whistler Nordics
Todd Hellinga
President, WORCA

Reeling in Whistler
The Whistler Museum is "reeling" in the success of the premiere screening of the communityNOW Year 5 Film Project - Whistler: A people's History. Over the past five years the museum has been chronicling the stories of Whistler through four short films and this year's full-length compilation film. The project gives an honest, heartfelt and sometimes critical look at Whistler's evolution, celebrating the one thing that hasn't changed, the strong and vibrant community of Whistler. By producing this project the museum hope's that residents will hear their story through the community's own unique voice as it is presented to the world.

This project owes much thanks to many who have made it possible.

To the organizations whose contributions helped made this project a reality thank you for your generous support. Thank you to the Whistler Arts Council, Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad, Cultural Capitals of Canada, Province of B.C., Resort Municipality of Whistler, CTV, Shaw TV, CBC Archives, Jim Budge, Whistler Blackcomb, and Epic Mountain Video.

To Producer, Director, and Writer Nicole Fitzgerald; Editor and Director of Photography Jacob Gish; Camera Operators Fredrick Oke, Brian Hockenstein, and Bryan Smith, we thank you for your creative vision, for your passion to tell the community's story, and your tenacity to see this project through all the endless challenges.

Thank you to all the participants who generously shared their time and their stories including: "Air" Jordan Williams, "Grateful" Greg Reamsbottom, "Guitar" Doug Craig, Ace MacKay-Smith, Alex Bunbury, Alex Kleinman, Alex Prochazka, Ali Milner, Barbara Matthews, Bob Barnett, Bruce Watt, Chelsey Walker, Cheryl Massey, Colin Pitt-Taylor, Feet Banks, Florence Petersen, Garry Watson, Georgina "Ticwtkwa Emhaolen" Nelson, Hans Kogler, Jessica Turner, Jim Scribner, Joan Richoz, John Hetherington, Kamana Bikadi, Ken Melamed, Leslie Anthony, Lex Joseph, Lynda Sellmer, Lisa Nakajima, Logan Bikadi, Maggie Tong, Marcel Richoz, Max Horner, Mercia McPherson, Michele Bush, Mitchell Wilson, Murray Coates, Nicole Deally, Renate Bareham, Rob Boyd, Rob Patterson, Ron Mackie, Ross Rebagliati, Steve Podborski, Uschi Scherer, Vincent Massey, Vivien Jennings, and Walter Sellmer.

Finally, thank you to the Whistler Museum Board and staff whose time, energy, and support helped make this project a success!

Jehanne Burns
Programs & Promotions
Whistler Museum & Archives