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The smell lingers

The municipality is flushing money down the drains but still a sewer line to the residents on Alta Lake road does not appear to be their priority.

The municipality is flushing money down the drains but still a sewer line to the residents on Alta Lake road does not appear to be their priority. The grants obtained for waste water treatment upgrades seem to have been siphoned off for improving the existing sewer line in Alpine, and a new water transfer station is currently being built on Alta Lake Road.

Since 1990 we have repeatedly been promised connection to the sewer mains, but here we are 18 years later and still waiting; the standard excuse is that there are insufficient funds!

For a town hosting the 2010 Olympics, the media might enjoy highlighting the fact that despite the much touted “green and sustainable” policy some “smelly” issues have been ignored at the expense of the environment and the water quality of Alta Lake.

Caroline Cluer

Whistler

Accessible transportation for all

I watched a young lady getting stuck at the gondola bus loop over the Labour Day long weekend trying to catch a bus; none were available for her and she did not look too happy or impressed. I knew about this for a long time but it really came home to me when I witnessed this happen. I spoke to the RMOW person responsible for transit and she said she passes on the complaints she gets all the time to B.C. Transit, who is responsible for supplying us with buses.

Vancouver became fully accessible for transportation this past summer. They have three separate revenue sources that provided the funds for the buses through Translink.

B.C. Transit is supposed to replace our buses on a 20-year cycle. I spoke to the media people for B.C. Transit and they confirmed that Whistler will only start to see new buses in the fall of 2009 and perhaps we will have a fully accessible fleet by the 2010 Winter Games.

The Paralympics and Olympic testing events start this fall and winter and so should our public transportation for moving people around, especially those with disabilities. There is no "magic wand" in this it seems, as budgets for transportation are set years in advance and it took Vancouver 17 years to become fully accessible.

Our transportation problems go beyond the Whistler community though and include moving people to Whistler from Vancouver and YVR. Currently the only accessible transportation via vuses is through Greyhound, and that requires 48 hours notice to set up a bus that can hold two mobility-restricted individuals.

Taxi companies can offer the service from Whistler but that takes accessible transportation out of the community for the disabled and those taxis only hold one mobility-restricted individual.

No bus companies are available from YVR that are accessible.

The Whistler Mountaineer train can handle the mobility restricted but they can’t use the shuttle bus from Creekside.

We are in our third year of supporting people with disabilities trying to come to Whistler and transportation is just one of the issues we have to deal with. I hope the RMOW will become successful in securing it shortly. For Accessible Transportation options and more visit our us at www.whistlerforthedisabled.com

Hugh Tollett

Director, The Whistler for the Disabled Society

A sour taste

OK, everyone in town has to stop drinking and pay attention for the next six weeks or else we will all be drowning our sorrows for the next three years!

As I was making my martini this weekend I noticed that my olive jar was empty. Thank god I had the back up of a lemon. However, it got me thinking about how our current mayor and council have drained the muni bank account over the past three years without a back up. As I sipped the lemon sourness of my martini I started to remember the cash, the cold hard cash! Taxpayer’s cash! So how much has our current council spent or approved? Ah let me remember…

1. The Raise! A 50 per cent raise for mayor and council!

2. Millennium Place went bankrupt, so they bailed it out because they had guaranteed the loan. Interesting? Too bad they haven’t done that for all the other businesses in Whistler that have gone under! Approximately 75 over the past four years.

3. The composting facility: this one blows my mind! How can you approve a cost over run that is double the original budget! Any CEO, project developer or business owner would be fired, laughed at or would go bankrupt for making such a decision! Where was the alternative options and out of the box solutions that we voted for?

Keep drinking everyone because it gets better…

4. The library! Ouch! (I had to mix another martini as I thought of this one) OK, so a previous council approved a $5 million library. Does that mean our current council is not responsible? Who was on previous council and voted in favor of the $5 million library? Gordon McKeever and Ken Melamed. Interesting! Who voted against? Kristi Wells. Regardless of previous council’s decision, do we have a $5 million library? No! We have a $15 million library! So our current council chose to approve cost overruns for $10 million!

Usually when I am over budget in my life, I stop spending! Where are the alternative options? Private/Public partnership? Like our conference centre? Stopping construction until alternate funding could be found? Selling it and starting again, maybe a bit smaller this time? Just to name a few.

Ah! Lastly but not least! 5. The tax increase: I heard this woman whining yesterday, “But, council promised not to raise taxes!” Well guess what sister, they approved that increase as well! They were the first council in years to raise taxes more then the rate of inflation. Well what did we expect? When a company goes over budget what do they do? Raise their prices, borrow money or go bankrupt! Of course all the councillors promised not to raise taxes. They wanted to get elected! Did any of them promise to be fiscally responsible? No!

What do you do when a friend breaks a promise to you? You don’t trust them anymore? So, do you trust our elected mayor and council? Well after two martinis and my trip down (Whistler council’s financial) memory road I find myself with a very sour after taste. Now, I know it did not come from my martinis so it makes me wonder what has caused such bitterness…

Hmmmm, you decide!

Marjie Martini

Whistler

Disturbing lack of discretion

This past weekend the Mr. Gay Canada competition was held at Whistler. I cannot express my relief that this event happened in Whistler, not Pemberton.

After reading your Sept. 11, "Best of Pemberton" issue, I discovered that one of the, "Number one reasons we (Pemberton) are not like Whistler" is that there are, and I quote, “no poofters.” God, can you imagine those beauty contesting poofters in the Pem Ho, dancing around in their poofter pants, spraying their poofter cologne and sporting their fancy poofter hairdos and those shoes... god, those poofter shoes...what next? A poofter running for mayor of Pemberton?

I have an idea for a new Olympic sign for Pemberton: Welcome to Poofter Free Pemberton; keeping poofters in Whistler since 2008.

Thank you, editor, for your enlightening issue. I'll get to work on the bumper stickers if you work on the sign.

Seriously, the lack of discretion on this one was really disturbing. I truly hope that the editor had no idea what the word "poofter" meant when the issue was published. At the very least, an apology or acknowledgment of the mistake is called for in upcoming issues. An apology to the residents of Whistler/Pemberton who do not share this view and to anyone in the gay community of Whistler/Pemberton is due.

Tara Hansen

S.E.E.D.S. Sexuality Education

W/B seeking nominations

Re: First in Line (Pique letters Sept. 11)

George, you're in! Thanks to Tavia "Tavalanche" Pursell for nominating dedicated veteran skier George Huxtable to ride in the very first PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola cabin on opening day.

In fact, we were so taken with Tavia's heartfelt nomination that we'd like to hear from the rest of the community as to who they think should also ride in that first gondola cabin. We have 20 seats to fill in the first cabin leaving from Blackcomb to Whistler, and are looking for your nominations. Look for full contest details within the coming weeks.

See you on Dec. 12th George.

Dave Brownlie

Whistler-Blackcomb

Green noise

Recent news regarding the construction of micro-hydro project on Fitz Creek appears to be fantastic news. The electricity generated will match the current usage by W/B operations. One small detail, the power generated will be for "export only" and not used here to sustain mountain operations.  If it were to supply local demand that would be a step in the right direction and we should be very supportive of this project. Unfortunately all we will get is the turbine noise from millions of frenzied electrons being produced here for markets elsewhere. No thanks...

Steve Anderson

Whistler

Use your brain, wear a helmet

As a frequent driver on our highway, I am appalled at the number of individuals who ride their bicycles out on our roads with no helmet!

There is no excuse for this! It's a law and should be enforced. In speaking with the RCMP, they said that every time they try to speak to these individuals, they either get accused of picking on them, or are told that they aren't from around here and didn't know they should be wearing one.

Just lately, a few of these individuals have almost run into my car. I have wondered, how I would feel if they were injured. I know I would feel horrible and yet, I don't have a lot of sympathy for them, as it is very reckless behaviour on their part.

Kudos to the Whistler Tri Club for always having their helmets on.

Come on folks, get those helmets on, brain injuries really aren't something you want to have to live with!

And to the RCMP — start enforcing this, regardless of their attitude. If they give you attitude, double the fine!

Bobbi Sandkuhl

Whistler

Should we care about RGS?

Both the regional growth strategy and our own official community plan have goals that oppose urban sprawl and value retention of rural areas, creation of affordable housing, easily serviced communities and local jobs.

Criticism has been leveled based on the assumption that the RGS will supersede our own OCP; the real intent of the RGS is to prevent developers building satellite developments in areas immediately outside our district boundary, beyond our control. The RGS supports the wishes of many residents of Squamish to maintain green space and recreation lands that we frequently make use of. It supports the continued access and enjoyment of recreation areas such as Brohm Ridge and Cat Lake into the future. The advantage to Squamish is that with the RGS policy in place a clear message is sent to developers to work within our district boundaries and OCP so we have control of development rather than witnessing urban sprawl around us.

Our OCP was recently presented for public review before final adoption.  If we are satisfied and willing to work within the land designations, values, and principles of our OCP then we should not be concerned that we are held to it. It currently informs the recommendations of our planning department. Over four years, SLRD planners and elected officials, including those representing Squamish, have met at critical decision-making junctures to write the RGS.

There have also been opportunities for public review. I attended a meeting in November to become informed and give feedback. Paul Lalli and Mike Esler, CEO of Garibaldi at Squamish (GAS), a proposal for a satellite development of 5,739 housing units on Brohm ridge, became especially interested in the RGS this summer.

I believe the RGS would be improved by inclusion of policy to stimulate economic development within all municipalities rather than a focus on Lillooet. Creation of well paying, long term, local jobs for the region as a whole, including Squamish, needs addressing.

The process of amending the RGS is cumbersome but the option to expand our boundaries should we want is not forsaken with its adoption. When weighing the RGS it seems there are more benefits than negatives; it gives us some control over our immediate backyard. With highway improvements there is temptation for ribbon and satellite development, which can become reality very quickly.

We have before us a chance to grasp some control and influence over decisions made just beyond our boundary, my vote is to take advantage of this opportunity while continuing to work on refining the amendment and economic development components. Let’s keep development within Squamish urban areas, reap some associated benefits to provide local amenities and economic stimulation and retain our surrounding playgrounds and green space.

Catherine Jackson

Squamish

Many thanks

The Rotary Clubs of Whistler-Pemberton and the Whistler Fisheries Stewardship Group would like to thank all those who joined with us to make the 2008 Rotary Family Fun Day & the B.C. Rivers Day such a wonderful success: our many donors and sponsors, participating community groups, entertainers, volunteers, and particularly the kids. It was fun !

Our In-Kind Sponsors really make this event possible, and we owe much thanks to: AVW Telav, the Whistler Hilton, the Pique, the Weather Gods, Mountain Blooms & Marshall Arts Productions, Nestors, IGA, Creekside Market, Zogs, Sabre Rentals Ltd., RMOW, Toad Hall Studios, Peak to Party Novelties, the Whistler Question, Cutting Edge Signs, the Candy Store , Whistler EcoTours, Backroads Whistler, River of Golden Dreams Tours, & Slopeside Supply.

This end of summer celebration also requires support from our many Financial Sponsors & Donors, and we thank: Whistler Law Offices, Investors Group Financial Services, Yes Ski Improvement, the Royal Bank, Peak to Green, Bunbury & Associates, B.Brown Land Surveying Ltd., fastPark, North Shore Credit Union, TD Bank, Double Diamond Law, Garibaldi Mortgage Inc., Peter Alder Enterprises, DuMoulin & Boskovich, Noel Villard, Carney’s Waste Systems, Whistler Property Services, Jim Duncan, Gail Wensley, the Oakes, the Leidals, Coast Mountain        Photo/Whistler Fotosource, Doug Forseth, Aloha Accomodations, the Montanis, the Deeks, & the Malahers. The participation of many community groups adds to the interest, and we thank: our Whistler RCMP, WASP, WCSS, WAC, Whistler 2020, AWARE, Whistler Sailing Assoc., Whistler Fly Fishing, Bears Aware, and of course the Whistler Gymnastic Club who put on a terrific show.

And a final thank you goes to our ‘Whistler Kids Got Talent’, who performed so very well, and to our very popular (with the kids) celebrity soccer goalie Mayor Ken, who may have stopped a few too many shots, but so be it !

Gord Leidal

Whistler




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