Am I the only one that is embarrassed about the state of the road into Whistler?
Every day I drive into work, I am shocked at the state of the road from Function Junction into Whistler. It is really quite disgusting. We spend money on our "green," over-budget library that is sucking up our dollars to heat it. The only people to see that will be VANOC.
We spend our money on a bus terminal (right in the middle of town, pretty much) that is supposed to be "green." Yet the hydrogen has to be trucked across Canada? And the visitors aren't going to care about or see that either.
The Muni spends our money on jackets and books and other unnecessary things... and yet no one coming to the Olympics cares about that either.
What they will care about is the state of the road that they will be travelling. Having a patchwork, uneven road, with no painted lines, cones all over the place, laying down and standing up with snow in between.... What a mess! What an embarrassment! I don't know whose jurisdiction or decision this was, but it's awful.
Even the new section that they raised, the elevation of near Nordic, was having flooding problems yesterday.
I drive the road all the time and still am challenged to actually know where the lines are when it's pouring rain and dark. Even the section further south could use new line painting already. Other countries manage to have well defined lines, so I don't understand why our highways are so inadequately marked.
I wonder how many accidents we are going to see with the volume of traffic they are expecting? I truly would have thought we might have been able to present a nicer drive into our town than what we have there now! Embarassed? You bet I am!
PS. I just drove into work and without exaggeration there had to be 65-70 VANOC vehicles heading south. Granted the majority of them had two people in them (could have had five if they wanted to even attempt to be green) but my question is... why were they not bussed up here?
We are being told even if you have a place to park you should take the bus. From Pinecrest the number 11 bus is terminating at Alta Lake Road and we need to transfer to get into the village. They are saying this will be faster than driving as there will be too many vehicles on the road... Now I know who those vehicles will belong to.
Even more reason to be disgusted and embarassed.
No more green pretending
OK, that's it. I can't stand it any more! If I hear the IOC or a VANOC representative talk about how these are the green Olympics I'm gonna snap!
At the same time they are asking us to "be green, leave your vehicle at home and ride the bus" VANOC puts 4,600 new vehicles on the road. No, not the energy efficient kind, but big badass trucks and SUVs that spew emissions into our sensitive environment. Every time I see one of these vehicles there is only ever one person in it. Please, can't you carpool?
Then there's the hydrogen bus/bus terminal fiasco - built on wetlands, fuel shipped from Quebec, lit up like Vegas. Sustainable? I think not. Has anyone heard of Power Smart?
If you've been to the village lately you'll see that we don't care about light pollution or wasting energy and in fact we are being asked to put Christmas lights on to show our Olympic spirit.
Then we have all the other "green" projects, like the sliding centre, paving Lot 1/9, promoting sponsors with environmentally menacing records.
I am aware that the Games are coming. I wish all the athletes well and hope that the Games go off without a hitch.
Just stop pretending that these Games are green because we know as well as you that they're not.
A resounding thank you to all the village businesses who have adopted the green door policy. By shutting your doors to save energy you have allowed a number of Whistler residents to revisit and buy in your stores. Many thanks for listening to your customers' concerns and for saving untold amounts of energy!
It is an absolute pleasure to walk the Village Stroll these days. For those few businesses who still persist in leaving their doors wide open in this frigid weather please reconsider your actions. We North Americans are pegged by the rest of the world as wasteful energy guzzlers. The world is coming to town next month and this is precisely the kind of wasteful display of energy we don't want them to see and comment on. RMOW taxpayers have spent millions of dollars greening our town so please be respectful of how proud we are of that record and don't negate our efforts.
I am also happy to note that we finally have paper recycling at our Post Office. A big thank you goes out to Steven at Canada Post who oversaw the reno and made sure it included a bin for all that junk mail. Now folks, let us use it.
Lastly, it is satisfying to know that it doesn't take one penny of taxpayer money to effect change here in Whistler. You don't need badges or free dinners etc. You just need to be polite, persistent and positive at a grassroots level and change for the greater good will happen.
A slippery village
I would like to file a formal complaint about the unsuitable and completely unsafe conditions of Whistler Village this evening (Jan. 8, 2010).
As I walked to my car (parked in the Town Plaza Underground) I slipped and fell outside of the Mountain Club. I went inside and told them it was icy, and suggested they put salt down outside. The manager then rudely informed me that they didn't take responsibility for that area and that the maintenance men had probably given up de-icing the area.
The area that I am referring to caused me to slip and fall, dropping everything that I was carrying. My car keys are now missing the fob, which cracked off my key chain when it hit the ice.
I find it completely appalling that there was no care given to this area (Mountain Club, heading towards Town Plaza Medical in the undercover walkway). It was not being maintained at all. It is only a matter of time before some unsuspecting visitor becomes seriously hurt and decides to sue the village for neglect. I am lucky that I only hurt my hand and ripped my clothes in those treacherous walking conditions.
I would like to comment on Bob Crooks's letter ( Pique , Jan. 7) regarding the group of hard-core wannabe ski racers.
Finally one of Dusty's staff stood up to a small group of people and told it like it is. All the while being polite and respectful, in person as well as in the letter. Bob has always been as professional on the job as anybody can be and did the right think by letting all of us know how it is.
I have witnessed the way these people have treated Dusty's staff at times and it has been embarrassing, to say the least. Bob at no time has been disrespectful regarding this issue, which brings me to ask why management would entertain the idea of firing someone like Bob for standing up for the place he works for, as well as his fellow workers. If anything management should be proud of Bob for finally standing up and asking for a little respect that he, fellow workers and guest sshould be treated with.
It's not like this is the first time this small group of people have done this. Good for you Bob. And to the hard core wannabe racers, you have yet to apologize to Bob and others for the years of abuse you have given them for wanting to watch reruns of races you may have already seen or heard. Management, back up your staff; they know their jobs well, that's why most of us go to Dusty's in the first place.
Some answers on energy
Perry Beckham asks good questions about B.C.'s energy policy (Provincial policy not green, Pique letters Jan. 7) and I'll answer some of them.
The rationale for private development of small power projects (IPPs) in B.C. is that B.C. Hydro has no real experience with them, and unlike B.C. Hydro's projects, if the private sector overruns on project cost or schedule, the private sector eats it, not the ratepayer. As well, in the only apples-for-apples comparison I am aware of, the B.C. Utility Commission (BCUC) found in its decision of March 9, 2005 that the private sector proposal for Duke Point power was $100 million (present value) cheaper than B.C. Hydro's near identical proposal. This does not surprise me - simply put, large utilities (and I was a senior executive of three) are not always very good at small projects.
"Rivers we used to own"? Don't buy that claptrap from anti-private sector special interest groups. The B.C. government is not selling our rivers or water - IPPs lease the rights to use the water, for power generation only, for typically 40 years. The rights then revert to the crown. IPPs do not get title to the water and the NAFTA argument is a fraud. We won't pay "Southern California rates" for our IPP power, but rather the rates B.C. Hydro negotiates/offers and the BCUC accepts as reasonable. The BCUC reviews and approves (or rejects, as they have) all such contracts.
John Hunter, P. Eng.
President & CEO
J. Hunter & Associates Ltd.
Homeless or under housed?
After recent articles and coverage on Whistler's homeless ("Whistler's homeless relocated ahead of Olympics," CBC Friday, Jan. 8, 2010; "Whistler's homeless forced to Squamish, Social Worker says," Vancouver Sun Jan. 9, 2010), I would like to add a couple of comments since it has been on the radar of the Whistler Healthy Communities Committee and Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS) for a number of years.
The central thesis of both articles is that persons have been "relocated," that WCSS ships people out with bus tickets and that "two dozen" homeless have bared the brunt of un-welcomed Olympic pressures.
No doubt the issue is complex however; these arguments are based on projections and a particular slant. Let me deconstruct a few of these. Relocation: to me, this means people have been rounded up and ushered out of town. Show me who is doing this? The law of the land in any community is moderated by bylaws. If you choose to live in your car, you are going to be moved along in any community. I propose a more accurate word to define these folk: under-housed. Yes, Whistler has these people and the numbers fluctuate depending on the time of year. Many of whom work and are contributing to the community in some way.
Homeless: to me, this word congers a particular individual with particular needs (i.e., concurrent disorders). Yes, Whistler has these people (I'd say four to six of them) and from the mayor on down I know they are accepted as part of the fabric of the community. Remarkably (and for the betterment of our community) they have managed to survive here with the generosity of many.
Bus ticket relocation: again a misnomer. Yes, WCSS provides bus tickets to under-housed persons in our community. This assistance is not to "relocate" anyone, rather it is to assist them in meeting their needs in services that do not exist in Whistler. For Example, Service Canada, Welfare, Medical Treatment etc. To my knowledge many if not all of the individuals WCSS has provided tickets to have returned to Whistler and their under-housed situation, by choice. And, they are welcome here!
An unreported reality is that there are regional services that serve the corridor. An overnight shelter is one of them (Helping Hands) and it happens to be in Squamish. Since when has it become an issue for other members of the corridor to access this service? As far as I knew, it was part of a regional plan. In any event, it is my wish that this spur's on discussion (read: funding!) about a cold weather shelter in all corridor communities.
I don't dispute; there are social forces at work here. Let's just uncover all the forces at work before we paint the town red.
Executive Director, WCSS
It takes an army
It continues to take my breath away, the generosity of the Whistler people, not only their contributions by also their time. Over 85 one-and-a-half-hour slots were filled by people weathering the Whistler cold, manning a Salvation Army Kettle. A huge thank you to the Pique , IGA, Nesters and Trilogy, for all your support.
The Salvation Army was one of the first organizations on the scene ready to assist the Pemberton flood victims. Affordable clothing, housing, meals and counselling are offered to anyone in need of assistance.
This year a record amount of more than $15,000 was raised.
Special thanks to Lonne Clark (& Arlo), Carolyn & Kaitlyn Hill, Samantha Dealy, Diane McLeod, Ross & Beth Harlow, Judy Shaw, Ted & Nadine Hansen, Marg Pallot, Ted Morden, Karen Vagelatos, Craig McKenzie, Valerie, Kieren and Kirk Phillipson, Ron & Jennifer Erikson, Jeff Hume, Aimee Mussett, Kelly Lee Richards, Jamey Farr, Mike Polly, Ursula Morel, Carol, John McGregor (as Santa), Barb Colfield (Santa's elf, in photo attached) Pat Saintsbury, Sue Stangle, Gillian Brandon, John Chalk, Bob Cameron, Glenn Mishaw, Susan Anderson, Sherry Baker, Janet Brown, Donnie Carmichael, Greg Carlson, Michael Nauss, Kathleen Mercer, Rick Reid, Richard Kelly, George Klimock, Petra, Mike Polly, Daryl, Betty Jarvis, Dave and Griffin Brown, Michelle Mendillo, and Josh McKenzie, Peter Allan, Peter Dagg, Anshell, Liz Cullen, Christine Suter, Elmer, Dave Beattie, Lynne Venner, Ed Styffe, Matt Warner, Jill & Jamie Colpitts, Marg Pallot, Nell Dendoff, Doug Treleaven, Rosemary, Christine Wilding, Mariana Sparovec, Al Mattson, Robert, Amber Jones and Deborah Worth.
We couldn't have done it without you!
Which part of non-essential is being misunderstood when snow and grit clearing on a rain day before 7 a.m., Wednesday Jan 13 th ?
Employees at Glacier Lane who work for this town like to sleep just as much as second-home-owners ensconced in multi-million dollar houses. Only difference is that someone thinks otherwise.
On behalf of the residents, thanks for the two-time wake up call. The second being that this town doesn't seem to give a *rap about some of its workforce. I just about got the gist of the message when the bus fare to housing went up three fold in one hike.