Godzilla in the mountains
Re: Upstaging the Games (Maxed Out, Sept. 27)
Sorry Max but turning the Peak to Peak gondola towers into space ships? It’s so Battlestar Galactica…
Here’s the winner! We scoop the Vancouver Park Board’s rather pedestrian idea of rubber dinosaurs in Stanley Park by covering the structural skeletons of the Peak to Peak in elaborate papier mache. Bam! — Mothra, Godzilla and friends come alive before our very eyes — for free!
Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights we witness a beyond scale recreation of the classic Japanese horror film, Godzilla vs. Biollante ( yes, the sequel to Return of Godzilla, 1989 ).
“Imagine” (copyrighted phrase), laser and propane flames shoot into the starry night sky from the behemoths’ mouths and along the cable as they battle for domination of the gentle sleeping valley below.
Along the practically invisible cable(s) stretching across the chasm, representative terror stricken and defenseless tax payers/citizens tremble beneath the beasts’ power while paying tribute and homage.
In daylight, the cables run into and through the mouth of the monsters/towers where, using the best of Hollywood special effects; half-digested and dismembered bodies lie in terrifying repose.
Just at the work-shopping phase…
International alliance building
Re: Upstaging the Games (Maxed Out Sept. 27)
OK G.D., The Principality of Whistler has the full support of the Republic of Brackendale in howsoever etc. etc.
Also, hearty congratulations on the advent of the newest realized polity in the corridor. We heard Whistler had a Saudi Prince so Principality works for you. The only Prince we have is a relentless stick-hound so we went with Republic in the spirit of the Latin Respublica , (Res = concern, publica = people). Good Luck and let us know how we can be of assistance.
Republic of Brackendale
Creating our Games
Last week's "Maxed Out" struck a chord with me. Like most other Whistlerites, I am ecstatic about our opportunity to host the Olympics. But my enthusiasm fades more and more with each press release by either VANOC, the municipality, or Whistler-Blackcomb. I don't see any creativity in the planning, nothing that will make our little town stand out in people's minds in the future. It seems that it will be the same old village with a few million bucks worth of fanfare, and a few retail shops that will be bought out by the corporate interests.
We could've had an ice rink in the village, for both tourists and locals alike, gift wrapped with a $20 million bonus from VANOC. But instead we forgo that to the powers that be, and in its place will be a "Celebration Plaza", where I have not seen any offers for public input. Which begs the question: do we need a Celebration Plaza when we already have a Skiers Plaza, Town Plaza, Village Square, and Mountain Square?
Forgive me for feeling cynical, but I find it very unfortunate that little to no public input has been gathered on the Olympic planning process, and the few times our opinion has been sought (as with the arena deal), our suggestions fall on deaf ears.
Heeding Max's advice, I would like to offer a suggestion to my fellow Whistlerites for how we can leverage the games for the benefit of all. During the two-week gap between the Olympics and Paralympics, why not host our own events? They could be the demonstration sports of the 21st century. It would be based on the popular sports of the region; for lack of a better name, we can call it "The People's Games".
Seeing that amateurism is all but dead in modern sport, these Games could be one of the last refuges for amateur competition. These events will be activities based on pure enjoyment.
Off the top of my head, a few thoughts for events where the best venues in the world are in the Whistler area include:
• Ski and Snowboard slopestyle — is there any debate that we have one of the sickest terrain parks on the planet?
• Big mountain freeskiing/boarding — Heli- drop on Mount Currie anyone?
• Randonee racing — Maybe hold a "sprint" course off the Spearhead Traverse, with the "marathon" being an epic stage race from Mount Garibaldi to Mount Currie.
Those are a few ideas to get the ball rolling. I am sure that our collective creativity could fill the 12 days between the "other" Games. We need to make the decision now what we as a community will do, not what the Muni government, Intrawest, or VANOC will be doing.
For the past four years, my boyfriend and I have been waiting patiently on the list to purchase a home through the Whistler Housing Authority. It has definitely been tough to be patient, with all of the delays, changes and length of time in between new developments, but we have been taking deep breaths, understanding that if we want to stay in Whistler, this is our only option. We just need to accept that this is the way it works and trust that the system is fair and that our time will come soon enough. My opinion of the “fair” system has just taken a turn for the worse.
Recently, Whistler council decided in a closed meeting that the three positions held by the fire chief and two assistant fire chiefs would be allowed to purchase units through the Whistler Housing Authority housing without having to wait in line. The reasoning behind this is these are the only positions within the municipality that have a “reside in Whistler” requirement. The surprising aspect of this decision is that the fire chief, whose annual salary is about $140,000 (this information is available on public record), just sold his market value condominium and was able to purchase a brand new unit in the Lakeside Housing Project for $250,000, all this without having to wait in line, a line we have been in for four years, and many of my friends have been on for longer than that. This decision means that the two assistant fire chiefs who currently own market value homes will also have the opportunity to cash in and move to the front of the waitlist when the housing units they desire come available.
The fire chief did not choose this residence at Lakecrest — council did, because it is close to the highway and near the village. There are several other options available that meet this criteria. For example, he could have kept his residence in Nicklaus North or he could have purchased an open market two-bedroom condo in Alta Vista — Alta Vista Pointe II is right across the street from Lakecrest. If he was being offered employee housing, the fairest options would have been for him to move into one of the housing units that have gone to open market after the Housing Authority waitlist process had been exhausted — several of them have come up in the past year at 19 Mile Creek and Bear Ridge. Nordic Court and Eva Lake Village are other employee housing developments that any employee of Whistler can purchase and are about the same distance from the village as Lakecrest.
The Lakecrest unit will be sold back to the municipality when the current fire chief retires and will then be offered to the person replacing him. Since the current fire chief was not in need of employee housing there was no need for council to make a decision like this now. If the new chief needs housing, the municipality has some rental properties, one of which could be utilized until something more suitable arose. The new fire chief will most likely have owned a home in his previous location and should be able to purchase an open market unit in Whistler or one of the previously mentioned options.
For now, we will continue to wait on the list as before, but with a little more frustration added to our already growing levels. This frustration is NOT with the Whistler Housing Authority, but with council and the municipality and the many “fair” decisions that are being made behind closed doors.
Friends of Marc-Antoine…
A warm thank-you to all in attendance at North Arm Farm last Saturday to remember Marc-Antoine. It was amazing to hear from all the different people he touched in his short life in Pemberton/Whistler. All your kind words will help us keep his memory close to our hearts.
A special thanks to all those who volunteered their time and art, especially to James from Araxi who prepared a wonderful buffet.
One final note: Let’s keep Marc’s passion alive in all of us!
Jasmyn, Jordan, Trish and all the staff at North Arm Farm
So long Sandy, a true Whistler Mom
The word in the English language that has the dearest impact on me is the simple three-letter word “MOM”. On Tuesday, Sept. 25th we lost a true Whistler Mom.
It was almost 40 years ago that I first met Sandy Broadway, a new bride, across a property line in White Gold Estates. “I’m your new neighbour,” said Sandy. Her husband Larry and his friend and business partner Ron Kobelka were hard at work on Sandy’s new Whistler house. “Why don’t you come over for dinner, nothing special or fancy, just bring clean hands.” The new home was far from completion, yet Sandy produced a full on turkey dinner with all of the trimmings. She had used an old stove temporarily wired to the electrical panel in a dark corner of the basement. The repast was served on a long, long table constructed of three saw horses sitting on a bare plywood floor, supporting four 2 X 12s destined to become rafters pushed together. The middle six feet of the planks were covered by a red and white checkered plastic table cloth, mismatched cutlery bracketing the cracked and chipped plates and side dishes, paper towel napkins, card table folding chairs and a large empty pickle jar full of wild flowers rounding out the table setting. Sandy, in that shell of a house, had already aroused the warm feeling and smell of home.
Sandy worked hard alongside her husband doing his business books and growing her own business at the same time by proving to be a very competent bookkeeper to many of Whistler’s early contractors. Three children followed, Michael, Lauren and Colleen. Sandy inherited the best traits from her parent “Big Jim” Nelson, her dad who loved to salmon fish and to place a wager or two, and it was not uncommon for dad and daughter to cover expenses plus earn a shopping spree as a result of a trip to the desert and B.C.’s places of wager.
Christine Nelson is a lady’s lady and when her daughter Sandy needed to, she too could mirror her mother’s ability to exude class. The love of family Sandy and her sister Andrea gained from her parents was evident in her devotion and loyalty to her own family, friends and the many strangers who passed through her door. Her children, including her husband Larry, tried her at times, however, love, kindness, nurturing and “tough love” if need be were applied by Sandy unfailingly. The result: three aspiring young adults, two grandchildren and a devoted husband.
Sandy’s love of Whistler grew to include golf. Golf days and evenings with the girls became a passion. Her grown children, for the most part, were on their own. Finally she had the time to indulge some of her own passions. Extended golf holidays in the motor home and the thrill of twin grandchildren Ryan and Alyssa.
In the midst of her early middle years Sandy was told she had cancer. Sandy fought very hard, all the time continuing to be the consummate Mom and Grandmother to her children, grandchildren and husband Larry. Her end was peaceful. Sandy went to bed, reading glasses on and a book in hand. Larry awoke very early the next morning and found her, reading glasses perched on her nose, book still in hand and a trace of a smile on her face. Sandy did not tell her family about how near she was to the end. She did not want to upset them. “Don’t fuss over me,” was her motto, but Sandy fussed over all of her family and friends her entire life.
That memorable turkey dinner ended with a heaping length of 2 X 12 piled high with the most mouth watering, made from scratch butter tarts I have ever tasted. Cooking and baking in a dark corner of an unfinished basement to make things better for those around her typified Sandy Broadway’s life.
Thank you Sandy, you are missed as a “MOM”, grandmother, wife and partner and a dear friend to many.
Across the property line neighbour and lifelong friend
The price of a warm welcome
With a taste of snow this weekend it's hard to believe that summer left us just two weeks ago. This seems to be lost on many Whistler merchants who, year after year, insist on leaving their doors wide open 365 days a year.
This "open door" policy came to a ludicrous point one January day when I overheard a heating contractor's office telling him to go to the village where a store owner was complaining that he couldn't keep his premises at room temperature with his doors wide open to a minus-10 degree day.
I wonder how this practise of "welcoming" shoppers squares with Whistler's claim to be an environmentally sustainable community. I also wonder what kind impression it will make on our guests on a cold February day during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Everything is Duckie
The Big Brothers Big Sisters agency of Whistler & Pemberton has recently undergone a transition. For years a stand-alone agency with its own board and fundraising from our longstanding Thanksgiving Day “Duck Race” tradition (the ducks are taking a well-deserved vacation this year, but will be back to race again next year), we have now joined forces with Squamish and have re-branded as “Big Brothers Big Sisters Sea to Sky Corridor”.
Our programs are now managed out of the Squamish office, with dedicated support for the Whistler and Pemberton communities. We are also fortunate to have become a part of Big Brothers Vancouver, which offers us invaluable human and financial resources for these programs.
Since this transition, we have made great strides in expanding the programs and number of children served in Whistler and Pemberton, primarily through the “In School Mentoring” and “Teen Mentoring” programs.
In School Mentoring is a one-to-one encouragement program for boys and girls in Grades 1-7. Teen Mentoring is a friendship-based, non-academic program that matches high school students over age 14 with boys and girls (Grades 1-7), for one hour a week, at the child’s school.
We also still have our “traditional” program, which matches a “Big” Brother or Sister with a “Little” Brother or Sister age 7-12, who is in a single family home or just needs the extra support of a same-sex adult role model. These relationships often grow to become lifetime friendships.
For over 80 years, the Big Brothers Big Sisters program has
made a difference in the lives of young people by providing a friend where one
If you would like to become a mentor through one of our programs
— or have a child who could benefit from a mentor — please contact
Helen Brownrigg at 604-938-
9299 or visit
You could make the world — and a
lifetime — of difference to a child.
Big Brothers Vancouver, representing the Sea to Sky Corridor
A couple more
There were a couple of folks left off of last week’s thank you for the Cheakamus Challenge who I would like to thank.
The first is Nick DiPerno at www.sportsinsurance.com who helped us with our insurance this year and provides a great alternative to Cycling B.C.
The other is Stephanie Reesor who helped us with shuttling around Darren Chalmers on his Moto as well as helping with announcing and the finish.
See you September 20th, 2008.