Dogged by foolish thoughts
I examined my glasses to ensure I had not purchased a pair with rose coloured lenses. I have not. I checked with Dr. Rob and he told me I have not come down with a severe case of wishful thinking. Consequently, I can only conclude there might be a few more dogs on leashes this year than last.
That is not to say there has been a significant reduction in the number of loose dogs. So far the community has not indicated they care by buying the "Please Leash Your Dog" T-shirts from WAG. The only other Ive seen is the one in my mirror; but at least I am not entirely alone. Three people have told me they really like my T-shirt and one young woman considered buying one for her neighbour whose unleashed dog attacked her cat in her yard.
On my last walk with my mother along the Valley Trail to Rainbow Park I noticed that probably nine out of 10 dogs were free to run in and out of the woods doing what dogs like to do. The big dogs make my mother nervous. One could easily knock her over but the owners dont give that any thought. The other day during our walk around Emerald a dog dragged itself out of its yard as if to greet us but then lifted its arthritic lip and let out a bark that made us both recoil. The owners assurances the dog was harmless neither settled my nerves nor eased my anger.
One day last week I watched as a young woman and her dog walked across the Marketplace parking lot. The dog pissed on everything in sight that wasnt moving, tires, shrubs and trees. I didnt stand still. It seemed like such a natural thing to let happen I began to think I must be the one who is brain dead.
Then there are my neighbours up the street. They have two border collies. It is the breed that can only really be controlled in straight jacket. For two years they let their dogs run chaotically as they walked past my property to the park where the dogs ran even more chaotically. This year they are both on leashes. I have only seen them from a distance but every time I do I am overcome by a sense of appreciation.
I then think if they can do it ; but then I stop. I had one foolish thought this time last year. I recall having another one 10 years ago so I figure my next foolish thought is not due for another 10 years.
Kids made Spud Run
Kudos to all the runners who came out to the ninth annual Pemberton Spud Run. Especially gratifying was the large number of kids who made this race part of their Canada Day Celebration. From the generous donation of the Pemberton Valley Grocery Store plus all the other donors, to the wonderful volunteers, this event was a huge success.
Special thanks must go to Gary Baker and Tom Thompson who came out to time the finish. The Pemberton Valley Trails Association and the Junior Dragon Boat Team gratefully received all proceeds.
Again thanks to all.
Increase well deserved
I am writing in support of council voting themselves a pay increase. I was present when the remuneration committee presented their report to the previous council. The report was well researched and thoughtful. However, based on the information provided, I did not understand the committees conclusion that "a significant increase is not warranted at this time". This increase is well deserved and long overdue. I encourage anyone, who does not believe these increases are justified, to become more familiar with the RMOW Mayor and Council and their commitment to our community.
Whistler Transit Ltd.
In Gandhis words
My favorite quote from Gandhi is "The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated." I believe this also applies to a city, a village, or in our case, a resort municipality preparing to host, arguably, the greatest sporting event in the world.
So when costs for nearly every service and item are increasing dramatically, why would the RMoW cut funding to WAG (Pique Newsmagazine, June 29, 2006, page 28)? Why, when millions are being sourced and allocated to a multitude of projects and services, would monies be cut for such a critical need?
This is the best opportunity for Whistler and Pemberton to show itself to the world as a sensitive and caring community. It is also good business to care for its animals. I know a group who after numerous week-long visits of spa treatments and shopping commented they were no longer interested in spending money in a resort which did not take better care of its homeless dogs. They did not return this spring.
I support each person and business that steps forward to raise funds to help the homeless animals and I ask everyone who voted for funding cuts to the animal shelter to reconsider their decision. Does anyone think $13,500 (amount quoted of the funds reduced) will make a big dent in the budget overrun? It can, however, buy a lot of food for starving animals.
Snow-Eaters not only ones with soul
In "How Eagle Saved the Snow-Eaters: A Story for Our Times", (Pique, June 29, 2006) writer Michel Beaudry appropriates First Nations mythology and offers a fable on the state of the snowsports culture and how the sport has lost its soul.
It's perhaps an inconvenient truth to state that the development of skiing and ski resorts, especially in North America, has always been populated by members of the Money-Seeker tribe. But far from being merely greedy capitalists, many of these people were visionary in their construction of resorts (think: Sun Valley in Idaho, or Aspen in Colorado) that were far, far away from major urban centres. These were outposts that played host to the rich and famous, many of whom actually had artistic and intellectual talent, as well as being lovers of the mountains and pretty damned good skiers to boot.
To bludgeon a quote from Christian mythology, when it comes to skiing, "the rich have always been with us" and likely always will be. They can afford to get to those places off the map (cf. helicopter skiing), and in many cases they are every bit as obsessed in their quest for fresh powder or unclimbed peaks. Unlike the Snow-Eaters, the Money-Seeker is likely working in a hospital, or a school, in a bank, or building or even (God forbid) selling houses. You see, Eagle should have told the Snow-Eaters the very first lesson of living in the wilderness "you can't eat the scenery."
I'm not quite sure what the message here, is is a tribe of irresponsible, impoverished ski bums more credible and soulful than, say, a banker, lawyer, or SUV salesperson who racks up 60 days a year?
Where this story really goes off the rails, though, is in the description of how "the Snow-Eaters culture stagnated. Instead of appearing edgy and sexy and hip and cool, it was more often considered plastic and snobby and expensive and out of touch." Hmm, really? The same weekend I ploughed through this story, I watched a big-budget TV series on a major Canadian network called, uh, "Whistler", which certainly attempted to make ski flying culture look edgy, sexy, hip, and cool.
OK, so that's a bad example. Mainstream network TV notwithstanding, there have never been more ways to celebrate mountain culture than there are right now. Successful mountain film and culture festivals have been held in Banff, Telluride, and throughout Europe. Cliched Warren Miller movies were outgunned years ago by first Greg Stump, then MSP and TGR. At biglines.com, newschoolers.com, and powdermag.com, we have killer websites and chat rooms where the skiing community is indeed exchanging stories on an instantaneous basis, from around the world, 24/7.
As far as ski history goes, hell, even the Crazy Canucks had a network movie made about them not too long ago. In the mainstream media, skiers in even relatively arcane disciplines like Olympic freestyle and cross country like Jennifer Heil and Chandra Crawford are given far more ink in daily newspapers than their predecessors. Snowboarding magazines, videos, and websites have generally done an outstanding job in reflecting their special culture back to their participants. Canada is lucky to have SKIER magazine, which celebrates "Canadian Ski Culture", and ironically, M. Beaudry writes for this magazine on occasion.
So, what's the big deal? Why are the Snow-Eaters pissed? Are they still on dial-up? Ski stories are being told in bars, via e-mail, in letters to the editor sections, etc. every day! There may be, in fact, TOO much information; even I have the dopey habit of going on-line to check how my buds are doing before going skiing.
Now, don't get me wrong. We've certainly met loud, obnoxious bores in apres ski bars around the world who just couldn't wait to tell you the biggest cliff they'd jumped, where the deepest powder is, and how, dude, "I only do the backcountry, now." Maybe they have fallen off their wallet for a week, or maybe they are dirtbags. But I know one thing for sure. I don't really need to hear their story.
Helping Hands show spark
I would like to appeal to the Whistler Business community and everybody who wants to help. I have been working on a plan to hold a benefit concert here in Whistler on Aug. 11, 2006, in conjunction with the Whistler Music and Art Festival. This concert will be called: Helping Hands: West Coast Artists for UNICEF. It will be a benefit concert for victims of the Indonesian Earthquake. This will be the first time ever these artists perform their "Helping Hands" CD live in a concert. I very much want to help my fellow countrymen and the people in my hometown, Central Java with this benefit concert. They have suffered so much and been forgotten by International Community as they begin to rebuild their lives.
But there is also another aspect of this concert. I would like to show what kind of community we are to people in Java and around the world. Whistler is not only a great place to live and to visit but also a close-knit community with great attitude towards charitable giving. Our ability to give is what defines us as humans and the ability of all of us to facilitate that giving is what define us as a community. We have the opportunity through this concert to show our values to the outside world.
The concert is ready to go, it will be professionally produced by Monique Creber of Creber Music Corporation and musically directed by Juno Award and Grammy Nominee Michael Creber. We already have confirmation of availability by 15 artists, such as Jim Byrnes, Marcus Mosely, Shari Ulrich, Edith Wallace, Norman Foote, etc. Millennium Place will be the venue and UNICEF will issue a press release about this concert to national TV and other media.
Companies in Whistler will get so many benefits by affiliating with this concert. Potentially, we can reap thousands of dollars worth of media coverage through this event. It will be a rare opportunity for us as a community to hold such an event. One PR expert, David Finn, once said: "When there is spark in the soul of men and women who manage our companies, they should use it to light up their business as well as their personal lives, and they should say unashamedly why they are doing it. They will get the satisfaction of contributing to their civilization as well as to their corporations, and they will ultimately earn the gratitude of their fellow citizens as well as their shareholders."
So Whistler companies, big or small, show us your spark!