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Letters to the Editor for the week of June 1st

Welcome pay parking Particularly as a citizen concerned about safety, health and the environment, I am pleased that the RMOW is finally making tentative progress in the establishment of demand management of personal motor transport in the valley.

Welcome pay parking

Particularly as a citizen concerned about safety, health and the environment, I am pleased that the RMOW is finally making tentative progress in the establishment of demand management of personal motor transport in the valley.

Hopefully paid parking will also soon be initiated at Meadow Park (Sports Centre), where currently facility fees help subsidize motorists' "free" parking there, even for those arriving by foot, bike or bus!  

Dr. Thomas DeMarco

Bylaw changes to nightly rentals unfair

This letter is in response to the article in Pique ("Nightly rentals will require business licenses") on May 25, 2017.The policy change that was proposed at the May 23 council meeting has a significant impact on many folks that are operating short-term nightly rentals without the use of a single-rental pool.

Some Phase 2 building strata bylaws do not require the use of a single-rental pool. Since I can't see any benefit of this policy to Whistler, to visitors, or to property owners, I can only assume this policy is an Orwellian, protectionist reaction from the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) prompted by rental-pool managers operating in the resort — rental-pool managers that have been riding a gravy train for years.

I hope I'm wrong.

One only has to look at the relative values of units and incomes received by owners between two similar buildings; one that is managed by a single-rental pool and one that isn't. Any self-managed property in Whistler is worth more than double per square metre than any rental-pool managed property.

How can the RMOW endorse this blatant lack of value for property owners? Where is that value going, how can there be such a gap for what should be a very similar property? The reason for the value gap is that rental-pool manager, skim a large percentage of the rental revenue, leaving the owners with barely enough income to cover their monthly expenses.

Rental pools can be multibillion-dollar international companies that take from the individual property owners, and even worse, still offer a marginal guest experience.

Offering your property for nightly rentals via some other means than a single-rental pool is no way contravening the intent of the Phase 2 covenant. So why not offer owners a choice to rent their properties as they wish?As it stands, the only folks that will benefit from this policy are the big rental-pool companies. Big companies that often provide poor guest experiences while extracting the maximum from the Whistler economy.

As a sidenote, Phase 2 properties are intended for short-term nightly visitor stays, and as such shouldn't affect the housing crisis for folks living in Whistler.

We should be working to boost visitors' Whistler experience, provide value for the property owners in Whistler, and not fill the pockets of multibillion-dollar company executives.

Tim Coleman

Pay parking will not help

What a joke and a money-grabbing scheme (the new pay parking proposal is).

And who are they kidding that by increasing parking rates and removing all, or most, free parking they are supposedly supporting bus transport. (Transit) is beyond inadequate in our case, as super seniors in Alpine (Meadows), we have to carry our skis and boots to catch a bus, and no matter which way we go means walking uphill for approximately seven to 10 minutes, or up and down for approximately the same amount of time.

The schedule is also unsuitable in our case, as it is for many other locals.

In any case, the suggested increases (to pay parking fees) will result in people dropping off and picking up people in the village and therefore increasing both congestion and air pollution — way to go councillors!

Pierrette Walker

Crowding that safety space on Highway 99

I am writing this on behalf of all commercial drivers of heavy equipment including tractor trailers, dump trucks, mixer trucks, motor coaches and those that provide a "safety space" in front of their vehicles in order to allow for the unexpected while driving on the Sea to Sky Highway.

The unexpected does happen and it happens far more often than many of us would think.

My own events have included a great bear surprise — one jumped onto Highway 99 from deep within a ditch while passing through the Cheakamus Canyon en route to Squamish! Last summer, a person blindly stepped out onto Highway 99 while I was passing through Lions Bay. Had I not reacted quickly and defensively in both situations, the bear and the person might have been killed or seriously injured.

Both of these incidents were in smaller vehicles, not the much larger ones we all love to pass in our cars that require much greater distances to stop, and are also far more limited in their evasive manoeuvres.

The "safety space" I speak about is that space one needs to ensure that if a vehicle in front of you slams on the brakes, you will not drive into them, over them or through them and off the road into the ocean, a river or a rock wall that provides no forgiveness.

That "safety space" is far less for a car and much more for larger vehicles that would instantly kill those in front of them if an emergency situation required that car in front to fully brake with no safety space available because they eliminated it.

So, I ask myself, why is it that so many people driving on Highway 99 and Highway 1 think that one or two car lengths in front of a large vehicle, which they have just passed, is a reasonable amount of space before changing into the slower lane and often without any use of a signal indicator? Imagine what you would have to do if that big bear or deer jumped out, or a cyclist falls off a bike into your laneway, or a person or dog mindlessly steps out onto the highway, or a boulder falls off a cliff just in front of you. All are very real possibilities!

Please, everyone, let's all try to make the Sea to Sky Highway journey enjoyable and safe for all by being more respectable towards each other's vehicle limitations and requirements.

I drive a motor coach and constantly pull over into the slower lane to let others pass.

Please, when passing, provide me the same courtesy and do not crowd my "safety space" and that of the people travelling with me.

Brian Wolfgang Becker
North Vancouver

Swim meet success

This past weekend, Whistler SeaWolves Swim Club (WSWSC) hosted its third annual Swim Canada sanctioned meet welcoming 165 regional and international swimmers from six clubs.

We would like to thank all the volunteers from the club and the Lower Mainland, including Norm Strim and Dave Higgins, without whom, we could not have held such a "senior" event.

Special thanks to Jon Pollard, and Petra Grier, our hosts and landlord at the Meadow Park Sports Centre — their organization and support was stellar.

Finally, a big thank you and congratulations to all the swimmers who took part. A great weekend was had by all.

John Minton

Thanks for Family Dance Party

We would like to thank everyone for your support with the first annual Family Dance Party, which helped raise money for the Signal Hill Parent Advisory Council.

It was a very fun night and we have a lot of people to thank for that!

Thanks to DJ Pete and Kathie from Cheesebox (with the help of Belle Dorgelo and Mikayla Andrew-Bergstrom), who did their fabulous (as usual) professional, organized and fun job!

Renee and Ryan from Signal Hill were so helpful and supportive with the clean up at the end of the night.

Dave and Linda from Sabre Rentals; Kelly Czekurlon from Great Glass Elevator Candy Shop; Nesters Market; AG Foods; and Pemberton Valley Supermarket all gave us very generous donations.

Our silent auction donations were also greatly appreciated: the Village of Pemberton; Vanessa Stark Art; Whistler Golf Club; Danielle Menzel; Pemberton Dance Studio; Lori Cole; Kukufa Fitness; Cathy Benns from Pemberton Valley Wellness; Mynt Salon; Scandinave Spa; Fairmont Chateau Whistler; The Adventure Group; Sandra McLaren from Connections; Melissa Knowles: Tupperware; Whistler Eco Tours; Tam Beaton: Arbonne; Pemberton Valley Dental; Canadian Wilderness Adventures; and Pemberton Fish Finder all gave generously.

We would also like to thank our amazing volunteers! Our Signal Hill PAC experts, Lauren Martinello; Rachael Milner; and Kerry Teitzel. Patricia Westerholm for organizing the silent auction, the hula-hoop contest and her amazing attention to detail. Sarah Miller and her team of decorators; Krista Brynjolfson; Lara Parnell; Caprii Doucet; Sue Murphy; Jody Gartner; Steve Henderson; Rachel, Grace and Jacob; Shannon Story, Sandra McLaren and Sue Murphy for working the front door. Thank you Lindsay May for leading a line dance for us.

Natalie McNamara and Sammy Losee