We visited Whistler last Easter and had a fantastic time; the resort was very busy but I guess that is what you want! As we have to travel in school holidays it always is busy when we travel, but Whistler copes well with a "full" resort.
I read your article with interest (Building for Whistler’s future, Opening Remarks Sept. 4), as I like to keep up to date with what is happening in Whistler, through the electronic pages of your magazine. You will be glad to know we are due there again at New Year, although you are right the cost is quite frightening.
What prompted me to write was the bit that was missing from your article. Zoom airlines has gone bust. This must have brought many people to Whistler as a large proportion on the plane we came on was going to Whistler. We have managed to change the flights to BA but at an additional cost of 12 per cent to the whole holiday, and we will have a long drive down to Heathrow. It was touch and go if we would pay the extra, but we have booked the holiday months ago and were looking forward to it so much that we committed to the huge extra cost and hassle.
However, it is unlikely we will be able to come again, which is very sad as we would love to come every year as we had such a brilliant time.
I think you are right the local market has to be the best bet for long term viability, but the road access! I look forward to seeing what upgrades a year has brought, aware that you are spending a load of money on it. I am also surprised that the railway is not used more and seems to be a slow tourist attraction rather than a good way for a family day out skiing — maybe petrol prices over there are so cheap (compared to ours) it means every one drives everywhere.
Bingley, W Yorks, UK
RMOW checked first
In his letter to the Pique entitled Numbers Leave Me Lost for
Words, in the Sept. 4 edition of Pique, Lennox McNeely stated: “...our mayor
had his trip to the Beijing Olympics paid by an anonymous American — one
would hope this benefactor does not have business interests in town.”
I wanted to confirm to the community that the donor of the
funds does no business in Whistler. Further, prior to accepting the funds, the
RMOW sought legal confirmation that the gift was appropriate to receive.
Whistler is fortunate to have friends of the community with a
genuine personal interest in the success of the resort.
Questions for Pemberton candidates
With candidates beginning to declare their interest in the next term of Pemberton Council, I’d like to share a few questions I’m thinking about as a resident and voter:
• How to increase the economic viability of the airport without major debt and/or expansion;
• How to maintain and increase recreation opportunities for young families (trails, gym, ice rink, pool, paddling, skateboard park, other);
• How to foster a business climate that can attract and sustain jobs… and fill the store fronts in town and the empty lots in the industrial park;
• How to work with the Lil’wat Nation so that economic prosperity and social security extends to all residents of the valley;
• How to create an Olympic legacy that goes beyond a two-week winter festival.
I urge all candidates (including those yet to declare their campaigns) to consider these questions. I’d also appreciate a clear idea of your position — so that I can make an informed choice as to who should best represent me for the next term of council.
Let’s change the meaning of ‘Olympic Family’
Re: Re-defining the “Olympic Family” (Alta States, Sept. 4)
Thank you Michel Beaudry for your very thoughtful article on what it takes to be a parent of an elite athlete(s). I respect every parent for what they give to their children — their commitment is something I see every day on the sporting fields, in the drama rooms, at the music concerts and in the schools. I know that parents make the difference in a child’s life. But like all parents, parents of elite athletes who make the Olympics feel a special moment of pride and would like to share that joy with their children as they strive on the world’s stage to fulfill their dream. All parents feel this, no matter what country they come from.
I have always thought that something we in Whistler can do that would be unique from any other Olympics, is to make these parents feel welcome by having a parent welcoming centre — a place where parents can interact with local residents and create a true relationship with our community. We here in Whistler cannot have a glitzy opening ceremony like in Beijing but we can showcase our spirit. Let’s keep this conversation going and change the meaning of “Olympic Family”.
Lots of help, lots of thanks
On Tuesday, Aug. 26th I was rollerblading
with my two-year-old daughter, Vanessa, in her baby jogger. We were having our
usual fun time when all of a sudden an oncoming little boy on a bike crossed
the middle line of the Valley Trail and was directly blocking our path. I had
nowhere to go but down. I avoided the little boy but Vanessa and I hit the
pavement hard. The baby jogger snapped in half. Fortunately Vanessa was
completely safe. Thank God for her helmet, bike gloves and the time I spent
before the blade to ensure she was tightly and properly buckled in.
I am writing this letter to thank the amazing
people who came running to help us. I am sorry I did not make note of your
names in my state of shock but am so grateful for the time and care you took to
make sure we were okay.
Thanks to the lady playing golf at the
Whistler Golf Club who leapt over the creek, sat with me the entire time while
I caught my breath and who held Vanessa and assured me she was not hurt.
Thanks to the incredible staff at the
Whistler Golf Club who drove me to the clubhouse where I was picked up. There
were at least six staff who helped me, including the gal driving the
food/beverage cart who made me an icepack for my scraped legs, the nice guy who
drove the cart and patted my shoulder when I felt the need to cry, the two
medical people who checked to make sure I did not have a concussion, plus a
couple of others.
Finally I want to thank Kent Wills for always
being there for us. Your help and concern was incredible and I really want all
of you to know how much I appreciate it.
This letter was addressed to John Nelson, Capital Projects
Manager for the RMOW. A copy was forwarded to Pique for publication.
Re: Closure of the Valley Trail from Rainbow Park to the north end of Lorimer Road – Sept. 8, 2008 to May 31, 2009
I received a copy of your letter dated Sept. 2, 2008 at our Westside home front door yesterday. It is entirely unacceptable that the Valley Trail from Rainbow Park to Tapley’s be closed for basically one year.
This trail is the key pedestrian, bicycle and cross-country ski connection between the Westside, Rainbow Park and the village. Every day, a large number of people travel on the Valley Trail by foot, bike, roller blade or cross-country skis from the Westside to the village and the Valley Trail corridor is our only route. My two children, who are young adults, use this section of the Valley Trail to go to the village and back so they have no problem with the police at night. It is also a green transportation solution that saves our environment.
Personally, I ride my bike around Alta Lake every morning using this section of trail and so admittedly, it won’t be missed sorely in the winter season but you are now telling me I cannot do my morning bicycle ride for basically one year. I can of course change the routing of my ride until the snow flies but next spring and summer I truly want to go back to my morning bike ride because this is one of my high points of living at Whistler. I know that public works need to be done but I am very disappointed that you and the RMOW want to make absolutely no allowances for maintaining pedestrian and bicycle traffic for such a long period of time on a such an important connector for so many residents and guests.
You state in your letter that reconstruction of this section of the Valley Trail will be completed before June 2009 but it will consist of only graded and compacted gravel and you propose to wait four months to repave the trail in September 2009. John, that is one full year for you to do your project and one full year we do not have this section of Valley Trail. As this is simply a pedestrian and bicycle trail I see no reason to wait four months for settling and compaction as we will not be running heavy vehicles to help in the compaction, which I know is the normal process for building roads. I therefore recommend the trail be repaved by early June 2009 so at least we do not miss an additional three months of summer when the trail is very heavily utilized by people commuting between Whistler Village, many sub-divisions and Rainbow Park as well as our local neighbourhood people traveling to work using green transportation solutions.
In summary, I am very disappointed that the RMOW and your Capital Projects team has made no allowances whatsoever for the use of the Valley Trail between Rainbow Park and the north end of Lormier Road for a period of basically one full year. This is unacceptable to the residents of the Westside and I request that you make some allowances for our needs. I am also pretty shocked that the RMOW can simply do any project they want with “fait accompli” notification to residents and taxpayers in the 11 th hour with no consultation and no notification required. This entire project should have been subject to a development permit and public review. I request that you, the mayor and administrator meet to discuss how Westside residents can be considered in maintaining some type of corridor during the next year.
In December 2006, almost two years ago, the District of Squamish council unanimously supported a motion to develop a bike lane policy. By May 2007 Councillor Patricia Heintzman had, on her own initiative and in conjunction with the Squamish Trails Society, developed and distributed to district staff her first draft (further updates have been made) of a 24-page policy document entitled Improving Conditions For Cyclists & Pedestrians: Possible Initiatives and Best Practices. And within the last half-year, council has on numerous occasions directed staff to make cycling and pedestrian safety a priority along the Westway and Government Road corridors.
So, what has been done by the District of Squamish staff since December 2006 to follow up on these motions? Not surprisingly, but sadly, sweet nothing. In the meantime, with the rapid development of this town, it is becoming more dangerous than ever to ride a bike or walk along the streets of Squamish.
Of course, during the past two years the price of gasoline has dramatically increased, the Highway 99 redevelopment has hindered east-west connections throughout the community, and the corridor trail committee has been doing its work. Maybe, just maybe, enough has changed for staff to finally follow through on this very clear message from council to meet the needs of the community, and for council to bring down the hammer if staff does not get the job done in a timely manner.
The issue of bike lanes on the north-south connector of Government Road-Queens Way-Buckley Avenue is on the Sept. 16 council agenda. Concerned citizens may wish to urge the mayor and council to ensure that staff follows through on these motions with some meaningful action.
Fantastic to The Core
I have always been blown away by the participation and support of the weekly Toonie mountain bike races. Last week I had first hand experience as an organizer/sponsor, and it was fantastic, but also an eye opener. There is a lot of work involved, from preparing the trails to organizing the prizes and après festivities. Thanks to all the volunteers and businesses that support the weekly Toonie rides – great work!
For last week’s race I would like to thank the following: 1. All the Toonie riders for their participation, rain or shine. 2. Tom Thompson for his tremendous support, from reviving North West Passage to MC’ing the awards. 3. Whistler Outback Adventures for helping organize and execute a successful race. 4. Whistler Bike Park and Patrol for allowing us to use their network of trails and keeping our Toonie riders safe. 5. WORCA and Benoit for keeping these weekly events organized. 6. A host of volunteers for marshalling the course. 7. Buffalo Bill’s for an outstanding après, with fantastic service and a scrumptious dinner.
See you at the next race!
Bob Allison, The Core
Join us for dinner
I would like to ensure that the Sea to Sky Community knows that there is a meaningful event that should be circled their calendars. This Friday, Sept. 12 at 5:30 we are invited for dinner at the Xit’olacw School (Mount Currie New Site), the Lil’wat Nation has invited us for a BBQ. At 6:30 our special guest speaker, Dr. Martin Brokenleg, will give a presentation on “Families: Circles of Courage.” This presentation is sponsored by the Howe Sound School District Parents Advisory Council (DPAC).
Dr. Brokenleg is a professor of Theology at U.B.C. and was recommended as an inspirational speaker by our local teachers. Our topic has been selected as one that has a message for all families. Your DPAC has a goal of parent education and we offer families this opportunity for learning and inspiration. The added bonus is that we believe it will be a great community event as well and we thank the Lil’wat Nation for hosting the event.
If you have not already done so, please RSVP to myself if you would like to join us for dinner at firstname.lastname@example.org , we look forward to seeing you there.
Chair, Howe Sound DPAC
Julia Black has been a passionate advocate for children and
families throughout the Sea to Sky corridor for over 15 years. Her dedication,
personal commitment and passion for child development are unparalleled in our
community, and recognized across the province.
Julia did not deserve the abhorrent treatment she was shown by
the Whistler Children’s Centre Society Board of Directors on Friday, Sept. 5
The sole, brief statement “the Board is deciding to head in a new direction”
released to the membership of the society does not demonstrate an open and
collaborate approach to governance by the group of people entrusted with the
best interests of the society. Particularly for a policy board, such a dramatic
restructuring should have, at the very least, warranted a parent/membership
meeting to discuss the new direction, not to mention how someone with Julia’s
expertise would not fit with that direction. Unfortunately, this did not
happen, which raises concerns (and I know that I am not alone) regarding the
integrity of the programming, the continuity of care for our children and the
mentoring of staff that are so integral to a supportive environment for our
Following is a brief summary of Julia and what she has done for
our community for which many, many of us are extremely grateful — Julia
moved to the Pemberton Valley when she was 8 years old. Being a part of the
pioneer farming community of Pemberton, well before Whistler the Resort, is not
something many of us know. Julia left Pemberton, only briefly to live with a
guardian following her mother’s death when she was only 15.
The Pemberton Valley called her back during her breaks from
university and finally, upon graduation, she returned to her home, full time.
From that day forward, Julia joined the team at the Whistler Children’s Centre
with then director, Marian Hardy. She worked her way from teacher on call to
Head Teacher of the Marmots program, at the same time as completing her ECE
(Early Childhood Education).
In 1995 Julia, on her own resources, met the need for childcare
in the Pemberton area and created the Pemberton Children’s Centre in a large
portion of the old Community Centre (old high school). Julia later transitioned
the centre to a non-profit society once its programming and staffing were
Julia’s exceptional leadership, her understanding of the
community and her passion to discover innovative ways to provide programming to
all children resulted in her relationship with the Lil’wat Nation to develop
hildcare Centre. Again, once
the programming and staffing were established, Julia transitioned her
responsibilities to the new Lil’wat team. With her primary focus being capacity
building within the community, she blended her skills with staff training and
empowerment to build nurturing environments for children and families.
By this time, she was asked to head up the Whistler Children’s
Centre as Executive Director. It was almost seven years ago that she came back
to her start. Her in depth participation in our communities gives Julia a
breadth of understanding of our childcare needs, but it is her fascination with
a child’s development that fuels her drive to find new and better ways to
encourage our children. Her next step was to become the first High Scope
Certified trainer for Western Canada and, as a result, the Whistler Children’s
Centre became the first High Scope Certified Centre for the same area. Not to
stop there, she completed her MBA (at her own cost) in order to offer a well-rounded
and sound business mind to the non-profit operation.
In addition to Julia’s commitment to the above three centres
over a 15 year period, she has been an active member of a variety of child and
family advocacy groups in the Sea to Sky, served on government advisory boards
for childcare, lectured and trained ECE staff and given countless family help
workshops to new and young parents.
Julia is an incredible individual. Obviously I know her well
and admire all that she has accomplished in her professional, as well as, her
personal life. She is one of the most patient and most compassionate people I
will ever meet. Julia, you were treated so incredibly poorly and as one member
of the Whistler Children’s Centre Society, I apologize for how we thanked you
for all that you have done for us, our community and, most of all, our
The best wedding ever
On Saturday, Sept. 6 th there was a wedding in Whistler... that's no surprise as there are many weddings in this town... but this one was the best wedding I have ever had the pleasure of attending (and I've seen a few!) — OUR wedding!
Now I may be biased here, but the day could not have been more magical in my wildest dreams... the friends and family, the setting, even the weather!... it all came together perfectly.
This amazing day would not have been even remotely possible without the help of so many wonderful friends who donated their time, talents and support. On behalf of Kara and myself, thank yous must go out to everyone who participated in pulling this wild wedding off. Here they are in no particular order, and if I've forgotten anyone, please forgive me as my head is still spinning! Our families, Robcat and Jen, Guitar Doug (best man) and Tina Taylor, Ian and Laura MacNeil, Liz Swan (our photographer) and G Willy, Kike Redondo of Kypriaki and Sarah Chapple from La Rúa for the fantastic food after the ceremony, Aron Harvey, Angela and Mel for the best wedding cake ever, Chris and Rebecca Ford, Leah and Dogger, Jason Fink, Chris Brown from Vincor for the wine, Mike Wilson and the GLC staff, Dave Den Duyf from Sabre Rentals, all the women (and Mel) who helped build the Arbor, Tom Charron, The Grzybowskis, The Dyke family, Susan Milhbauer, Marty and Melinda Seitzinger, Joel Hamilton, Britt German, Princess Stepharoo, Adrienne Greenwood, Husky Ray, Birdy and Georgette, the Sonnenbergs, Marnie Gibson, OCF Sara, Dietrich and Lisa and all the other photographers, and She Stole My Beer for playing a killer show!
Greg and Kara Reamsbottom
First in line
Just a quick proposal here... As he is the most dedicated of gondola travelers I think the person most deserving of the first Peak to Peak crossing is George Huxtable. I can’t think of any other local who shows as much commitment to the Roundhouse Lodge (staff aside) and who makes appearances every week. He is there at every moment with stories and photos to share and to show us “young ones” how it was in the “good ol days”.
Such a great ambassador for Whistler Mountain should be treasured and given the recognition he deserves.
And it would be a wicked 90th birthday present!
Tavia “Tavalanche” Pursell