A suggestion to council to save thousands of dollars: don't put the median back on Blackcomb Way!
1. Both ambulances and fire trucks have better access if there is not a median. In the winter, when snow banks limit the width of the road, this is especially important.
2. It's safer because pedestrians who are already streaming across Blackcomb Way from Lot 4 can more easily be seen.
3. The Celebration Plaza will continue to be a site for public events. The same transportation needs that necessitated removal of the median will continue to exist during large public events.
4. Additional dollars saved each year because no need to mow, weed, trim, edge and clean up the median landscaping.
That would more than cover the parking fees the municipality now must extract from us locals. I was appalled to discover that though paid underground parking was being reassessed, the SmartPark rate had still doubled. I've lived hear for 20 years and never felt so gouged as I have by the change in parking.
Let's see: a recession so most incomes are down, real estate taxes going up double digit, (HST is another doubling of the tax to come) - let's charge the locals more for parking!
Unlike those whose salary is adjusted up for nonexistent inflation (BNN reports slight deflation), many locals have seen incomes, rents, retail sales, hours and tips decline in the last year. So would council consider leaving out the median and allowing us to have affordable parking?
The epitaph of humanity
I want to thank Max for writing, "Welcome home, troops" (Pique, Maxed Out Aug. 13). He often leaves useful openings in his columns and his statement "I don't know what the appropriate role should be for Canada's military" left an opening large enough to drive a tank through. I know our technology has "improved" so that we are beyond beating our "swords into plowshares" but I would suggest we really should begin converting our tanks to tractors and training fighters to be farmers.
Also in the Aug. 13 Pique Jim Horner wrote a letter urging us to read the "adopt-a-fry" letter by Alexandra Morton; and to ask for help producing and distributing "adopt-a-fry" fliers during the Olympics. A couple days prior to the distribution of Pique , DFO announced the Fraser River salmon fishery was closed because there were virtually no fish returning to the river. Meanwhile, our defense minister proudly announced he purchased, on our behalf, a multi-billion dollar fleet of helicopters so we can continue to more effectively protect the way of life that seems to have brought the Pacific salmon to the brink of extinction. Can there be any doubt we are living in the "Age of Asininity" ( http://www.thelastwhy.ca/poems/ )?
Perhaps my mother and I will be visiting some of the Olympic venues; but not to view the events. While the military planes pass overhead, helicopters hover and troops march through the village in a multi-billion dollar effort to protect the Olympic party, we might be handing out about $10 worth of modified fish fliers. Superimposed on the "adopt-a-fry" information will be the words "Too late" and what I think could well be the epitaph of humanity. It is a quote I read in an article entitled "Protesting at Climate Ground Zero" ( http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175105/mark_engler_protesting_at_climate_ground_zero ) by Mark Engler. Commenting on the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Harvard University oceanographer James McCarthy said, "The worst stuff is not going to happen... because we can't be that stupid." Where's the proof?
Natural transformations unwanted
RE: "The secrets of our springs" (Pique feature Aug. 13)
I'll agree that, in reference to Meager: "Governmental officials panicked." But why? The reported fecal coliform levels were not, to my knowledge, confirmed by later testing by the Friends of Meager Creek society or others.
The result of the decision to employ Mr. Sato was the "transformation," to quote Mike, to what he calls "natural pools." These are rock rimmed but floored with what I call concrete and he calls "mortar" and require, according to him, power washing every two days.
Now he is "transforming" St. Agnes Well and plans on tearing out the perfectly clean pools that many have enjoyed for years. In return he gets a 20-year lease and gives 25 per cent of the money to the In-SHUCK-ch nation. Next he's after Sloquet.
He says, "Many pools are actually natural pools... those that are, are usually not allowed for public use (Really Mike?) because they will have issues of not having met the minimum health standards... once those improvements are made, the pools become artificial and fall under regulations."
What's next? Will every trail in the province have to meet regulations too? Most of us would prefer the remaining hot springs were left undeveloped. Meager did not have to be "transformed" to keep it safe. Neither do the others.
Consultants are often good at convincing others their services are "needed." My definition of "natural" doesn't involve concrete or mortar or power washing or profiting from further development. I call that something else.
New Westminster, B.C.
Every mother's worst nightmare
On the early morning of Sunday, Aug. 16 my son was brutally beat up in another First Nation's community by another First Nation person. He was left on a beach, knocked unconscious. This guy was almost twice his size and at least six or seven years older.
My son was flown by helicopter to VGH within an hour of arriving at Pemberton Emergency. He is on the neuroscience floor due to his head injuries.
Now that his condition has improved over the last couple of days, I wanted to take the time to thank so many people: Kara Joseph, Theresa Barney, Tyson Barney, RCMP officer T. Merie, STP Sgt. Leo, Dr. H. Mockler, Pemberton Emergency staff, B.C. Ambulance, B.C. air evac team, VGH emergency neuroscience floor, Jackie Williams, Thomas Nadine Wallace and many friends and family.
The two concerns I did have with my band are 1) No financial support for travel or accommodation. (No emotional support, communication, or understanding.) 2) No calls from any of the council. (The ones I voted for... go figure.) And thirdly, no calls of concern or apology from the person, or his family, who did this to my son.
To him, I send this message: "Wishing you healing energies to fill your life, tranquil moments to renew your soul, and brighter days to lighten your spirits." Like any mother, we fear people like you, who are burdened with negative energy and use the wrong avenue to release your inner turmoil. I am very fortunate that my son is determined to recover, I hope you will do the same.
Keeping hounds happy
Is there a law about tying up your dog?
Yes, this is another letter to the dog owners of Whistler. I was walking through the village on a very busy Crankworx day. There was a dog tied to a bike rack outside Citta'. As I was walking by, a child of about four years old walked up to the bike rack as the dog was facing the other way. Suddenly the dog jumped up and showed every tooth he/she has, ready to rip the child's face off. The dog was probably a little stressed out with all the people walking by. Lucky he did not bite, this time.
Then yesterday, I was at the Whistler Health Care Centre. I locked my bike to the bike rack there. When I came out, there was a dog tied to the bike rack that my bike was locked to. Thinking of the dog two days ago I spoke nicely to the dog so not to worry him/her as I unlocked my bike. Well as I was unlocking my bike the dog's ears went back and he/she started to growl and bark at me. I got away from the bike rack as soon as I could, even as I was riding away the dog was still barking at me.
Many times I have been told by dog owners, "Oh, he's friendly."
I've been bitten before, by a "friendly dog."
Please do not tie your dogs up, especially to bike racks. Keep them with you or at home. Your dog would be happier I'm sure.
Oh, and thank you for picking up.
A giant leap backwards
Letter writer Steve Anderson (BCUC decision welcome news, Pique letters Aug. 13) makes it sound like Burrard Thermal is only going to be used for a few days each year and generate a minuscule amount of electricity as "back-up" for emergencies. That may be Burrard Thermal's current role, but the 300 gigawatt hours of "backup" electricity Burrard Thermal generated last year is not what the B.C. Utilities Commission has in mind.
What the BCUC clearly wants to see is hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars spent to rebuild Burrard Thermal so that it can generate 5,000 gigawatt hours of gas-fired electricity per year, and perhaps even as much as 6,000 gigawatt hours per year. That's 17 to 20 times the 300 gigawatt hours of electricity Burrard Thermal generated on a "backup" basis last year, and 17 to 20 times the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases and pollutants.
If we're going to turn our backs on climate change and global warming and start to rely heavily on a gas-fired plant like Burrard Thermal, then we might as well revisit some of the other gas-fired electrical projects that have been rejected in B.C. in recent years, like the Sumas 2 power plant they tried to build south of Abbotsford and the Duke Point power plant they tried to build near Nanaimo.
Taking a giant leap backward with a massive expansion of Burrard Thermal makes absolutely no sense at a time when the entire world is turning to clean, renewable energy sources and it will not be any more palatable to the public than the Duke Point and Sumas 2 projects were.
A big thank you
To everyone that helped us put out the fire at our home on Monday, Aug.17 th , thank you.
Although this experience has certainly changed our lives, things could have been much worse.
Thank you to our courageous neighbours who with no thought jumped on our roof with buckets of water to stop the flames.
Thank you to the emergency services for holding our hands as we watched with panic in our eyes.
Thanks to the fire department; without you we would have walked away from this situation with nothing but ashes.
Thank you to all of our employers for being there in this time of need.
To our friends and family we can't say anything but your love and support has instilled confidence back into ourselves. Although we may not have a roof over our heads, we certainly have our health and happiness.
We all wish we could give you much more then a thank you but as soon as we can put both of our feet back on the ground we will be sure to give each and everyone of you a piece of our heart.
I know this letter is a little corny but thank you all once again for being there in our time of need.
To the communities of Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton
All of us here at Sea to Sky Community Services Society (SSCSS) anticipate that everyone is enjoying the wonderful summer we have had so far. Unfortunately, the end of July brought significant changes to SSCSS, greatly affecting not only our organization as a whole but also individual programs and services. As a result, it is with immense regret that SSCSS announces to our respected community members and stakeholders that we have received a 90-day termination notice from Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCH) for the following addictions contracts: Adult Addictions (Outpatient), Child and Youth Addictions (Outpatient) and Drug Prevention and Education (School-Based). These programs and services will be winding down over the next 10 weeks and will officially come to a close on Oct. 30, 2009.
With regards to Adult Addictions (Outpatient), VCH has stated that these programs "should be redesigned to a concurrent disorder model... in house" and "believe that repatriating (this service) will have minimal impact on client care and expectations." Both Child and Youth Addictions (Outpatient) and Drug Prevention and Education (School-Based) will cease to exist.
We ask that you take some time to consider the immediate and future impact this transition will have on you and/or your connection with SSCSS and we welcome your assistance in trying to minimize the impact and disruption of service delivery. A contact is also available at VCH to answer your questions or address your concerns: Joanne Bezzubetz, Director of Mental Health and Addictions, at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Sea to Sky Community Services Society and the staff members directly affected (Denise Evans, Gloria Thiessen, Dee Beveridge, Jackie Dickinson, and Jesse Burnett) would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your years of support to and involvement with these valuable programs and services.