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Trails require reinvestment

There seems to be a feeling in the community that the commercial bike tour operators are ripping up our trails and not contributing to the ongoing maintenance for the resource.

This is not true and I would like to shed some light on the positive end of this stick.

Last year WORCA was approached by two companies, Bear Back Biking and Ticket 2 Ride, as to how they could get more involved in maintaining the trails and getting their guests involved with the local community. In particular Jonny Lloyd and Mark Knight of Bear Back Biking have been not only keen to help but have been integral in helping out with local trail maintenance and grass-roots events.

I think it is great that we have people coming from all over the world to ride our trails and use their own energy to recreate and get around the valley. They are constantly amazed at the network and community that we have here and are spending hard earned cash to ride in the area.

I feel that shuttling is not good for the trails and if you can't ride up you don't deserve to ride down. If you want this type of experience I strongly suggest you spend your time in the Whistler Bike Park as we are not keen for this type of traffic in Whistler, or Pemberton for that matter.

I strongly believe that all tour companies must contribute to keeping our trails in good stead and that not only goes for the commercial bike tour companies but also the hiking and dog walking businesses who all use the trails as well.

I also believe it is time for the hotels and accommodation sectors, along with Tourism Whistler, to buck up and get involved as they are the businesses in town who benefit the most from these tourist dollars. There is a certain responsibility that comes with the marketing of a recreational product — which is maintaining and looking after the resource. I look forward to seeing TW and their members pulling out their wallets and energy to get involved for the long term.

The Whistler Bike Guide is contributing $.50 from each copy sold towards the trails and is proud to do so.

Grant Lamont

Past President, WORCA

Pug Wedding takedown

Before I begin my rant, I would like to thank everyone who donated their time, services and money to the Pug Wedding fundraiser July 7. If I started to list everyone it would take up a full page. From the venue to the food, cake, decorations, party barge, music etc., etc. — the community really came together to make this the truly ridiculous spectacle that we had dreamed of. Until the cops came, of course. Most people probably know the whole sordid story by now. In fact it's been a full time job telling the incredulous public what happened.  Here are some helpful suggestions so the next pug wedding WAG fundraiser doesn't suffer the same fate.

1. Ex spouses should learn to pick their fights wisely. Don't lodge a complaint to the RCMP about a fundraiser for dogs. It will come back to bite you.

2. When an innocent mistake occurs over a $25 Special Occasion License, (for a fundraiser remember), a warning from the authorities should suffice. Court dates and confiscating donated alcohol is a little much.

3. The ridiculous, baffling and undeciferable liquor laws need to be changed. Everyone should read them, if only for a good laugh. The people that come up with this lunacy should be pelted with jello shooters.

Again, to the community of Whistler thanks so much for your support, and anyone reading this please send a healthy donation to WAG. They are severely underfunded this year, which is why we put on this event in the first place.

As for Basil the pug and myself, we're heading up the coast for a while to recover from the trauma of all this (or at least give my throat a rest from recounting this debacle 80 times a day).

Stay tuned for another fundraiser at the GLC in August to help pay for Basil and DP's emotional rehabilitation fees. All the proceeds will of course, go to WAG.

And as for the disgruntled ex spouse who called this in the complaint, I suggest you make a donation too.

Michele Bush   Whistler

Misunderstanding water information

On July 12 you published a letter from a Municipal official which said it hoped to clarify some misunderstanding about public health and water quality concerns with Alta Lake. That letter actually acted to create misunderstanding rather than dispel it.

The letter stated, in a curiously legally worded way, that there was no contamination in Alta Lake from leaking septic fields or existing septic and sewer systems (as opposed to non-existent septic and sewer systems). However, the data in that same letter conflicted with those statements and showed there was contamination of the lake with fecal coliform bacteria. This contamination may or may not cause any serious harm, but it’s there — regardless of where it’s from, so let’s stop saying that it’s not. The levels may have been within acceptable standards for swimming areas in the fall and spring, when nobody was swimming, but the water was clearly unfit for drinking when tested and no information was provided about water quality in the summer.

Other jurisdictions take multiple samples from every beach every couple of weeks during the summer when people are swimming and when water temperatures are high and bacteria flourish.

One would think that, if fecal coliform bacteria are discovered in a popular lake like this, it might be prudent to research the situation more carefully rather than try to dismiss any concern.

Tim Smith


Amazing teachers missing

I would like to inform the parents of Signal Hill students as to the fate of two of the great teachers under the employment of their school. I am referring to Mr. Phil Apter and Mrs. Rebecca Apter.

I believe a grave injustice was done to them and those who are responsible should be held accountable. Mr. Apter was employed as a Grade 4 teacher at Signal Hill and Mrs. Apter is trained to aid children with special needs and was the teacher/vice principal at Blackwater Elementary school during the 2006-2007 school year.

Mr. and Mrs. Apter have not been given positions at the school for the upcoming year. Mr. Apter’s job was given to someone else when I feel he should have been kept on in his current position. (In no way is this the fault of the teacher who has been given this position.) Mr. Apter is a wonderful teacher and has helped students that were in his class who otherwise would have possibly not made it through school get a second chance. His previous students admire and respect him.

Mrs. Apter did an amazing job with the students under her care she was a huge asset to the school and should have been given a position at Signal Hill in her area of learning. I am appalled at the injustice that was dealt to these amazing teachers. They should be considered as assets to the school and not discarded when a problem arises.

Dianna Fitzgerald


Savouring a taste of Pemberton

We wanted to let the town of Pemberton know how much we enjoyed our recent visit there.

The Pemberton Valley Lodge was perfect for our long weekend. We were invited to the Legion Barbeque by June and enjoyed the food and the hospitality. The folks at Pemberton Health Centre couldn't have been better while removing a fish hook from my finger. We enjoyed two evenings at the Pony Espresso.

Thanks for keeping Pemberton a home town.

Debbie & Kevin McIntyre

Bainbridge, GA, USA

How fortunate we are

Having taken part in some of the festivities on Canada Day, we where once again reminded of how fortunate we people here in Pemberton are. Without the dedicated contribution from our volunteer firemen and search and rescue heroes, many of the events that are staged in our community would not happen. Year after year these men and women give tirelessly of their time without appropriate recognition. What would this community be without these great souls? You all know who you are and we say thank you for your efforts, thank you for your courage, thank you for your dedication, but most of all thank you so much for your time.

Garth and Valerie Phare