I spent the recent long weekend touring Whistler's real estate open houses. I was looking for re-decorating ideas and was not a potential buyer, as I explained to all the agents.
Everyone was polite, helpful, friendly and enthusiastic until I got a to a large new complex on Monday afternoon.
I walked in the open door of the display home, looked around the ground floor for 10 minutes and signed the guest book in the hall.
When I got to the second floor living room there were two women sitting on sofas reading magazines, and a dog. The dog said hello. I explained that I was only looking so one woman suggested that I look upstairs too, then went back to her magazine.
When I came down I asked how the five-week timeshare worked one woman stood up and explained it briefly to me. The other woman never budged from her sofa or said a word.
I asked if it was possible to rent your five-week timeshare and was told you could only rent it to other owners "to keep out the riff raff".
I should have asked for a definition of "riff raff" but was too shocked.
Is this the impression we want visitors to get of Whistler? Are we to be so exclusive that no "riff raff" is allowed? And who gets to define "riff raff"? Are they Jews, blacks, Indo and Chinese Canadians, or just people who don't drive a Lexus?
Whistler is already over-priced. If we drive out the colourful minority and the long time locals well end up rich, homogenized and DULL.
Re: An invitation to talk (Pique letters Aug. 13)
Rob McSkimming, please dont take B. Dovers remarks personally, he does not know you.
B. Dover is one of the many. He played his part by raising an issue. The answers do not lie within him; the answers lie within all of us.
This means, we must respect diversity! Yes the, "key to sustainability is diversity." David Suzuki.
It follows that on the one hand we need to allow people the opportunity to act freely and provide for their families. And on the other hand we need to protect our own interests. There is a balance here.
This balance may involve a process with plenty of manipulation and propaganda. It was said by a man on PBS News Hour that during the campaign for votes and customers there is much gloss and glitter about benefits for all. But at the end of the day, the benefits are typically for the individuals and not for the whole.
Whose interests are we protecting my personal interests, my corporations interests, the Resort Municipality of Whistlers interests, the Whistler-Blackcomb Ski Resorts interests, Whistler, B.C.s interests, Canadas, the Americas, the worlds interests ?
There must be a balance among all this chaos. Surely, this balance is an involved process; clearly it is not black and white, left or right. Attainment of this balance is complicated.
From my experience, a balance is best achieved in a free and open space, such as letters to the editor of our magazines; in contrast to a confined space like a closed door meeting at corporate head quarters.
Thank you for listening.
TW board supports CSP
The Tourism Whistler Board of Directors would like to formally acknowledge its support for the vision and priorities of the Comprehensive Sustainability Plan (CSP) for Whistler through the year 2020.
We believe that through the Resort Municipality of Whistler's CSP process, Whistler's vision has been confirmed, and its priorities identified in accordance with the economic, social and environmental pillars that are core to Whistler's values and future success:
Whistler's vision is to be the premier mountain resort community, through five priorities:
enriching community life
enhancing the resort experience
protecting the environment
ensuring economic viability
partnering for success
Areas within the plan that we feel are particularly important to Whistler's success include the following:
Maintain 75 per cent of Whistler's employees to live within the resort community this sustains our current level of staff living in Whistler and is integral for not only our local community but also for the visitor experience.
Appeal to families and visitors of all ages and walks of life, and provide diversification within the tourism economy by evolving leisure, recreational, cultural and learning/educational activities; and revitalize our neighbourhoods these are important for Whistler to continue to be competitive in these challenging times for locals and visitors alike.
Develop and integrate land use, transportation, and infrastructure systems using sustainable practices this will ensure that Whistler is protecting its natural environment and contributing to solutions for the planet while offering a progressive model for our visitors and ideally setting a positive international example.
Grow partnerships within the local community, with First Nations, with tourism organizations, with various levels of government, and with the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games these partnerships are core to further leveraging our resources and to ensuring that everything within our CSP is executed.
We look forward to the final stages of the process, and to working with the RMOW, Whistler community and other partners to finalize a plan to ensure Whistler is economically viable and sustainable for generations to come.
Chairman of the Board
On behalf of the 2004 Tourism Whistler Board of Directors
The situation in the Darfur region of the Sudan has been called recently by the United Nations the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today. Some international and human rights organizations have alleged "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing" on the part of the government of Sudan which supports ethnic militia in Darfur that have attacked, killed and displaced civilian populations in huge numbers.
Oxfam is one of the agencies which is assisting people in Darfur and people from Darfur who have gone to Chad. Oxfam is assisting 138,000 people in both North and South Darfur and has plans to help an extra 62,000 people in North and South Darfur. Oxfam is working with other agencies and providing clean drinking water, toilets and bathing facilities as well as hygiene kits. Oxfam is assisting 97,000 refugees in seven camps in Chad. Oxfam is working on the provision of clean water, sanitation facilities, hygiene promotion and Malaria control in three of the worst camps in Chad.
Concerned people may write to their Members of Parliament to encourage the Canadian government to provide more aid for the Sudan and through international levels encourage unrestricted humanitarian access to all affected areas of Darfur, to press the government of Sudan to demobilize the militias and to get all parties to settle their disputes in a peaceful manner.
Donations for aid in the Sudan may be sent to Oxfam Canada. Visit their Web site www.oxfam.ca to find out more.
Early Sunday morning I was riding my bike north along Highway 99 adjacent to Whistler Staff Housing when I got a whiff of what smelt like burning garbage. I got off my bike and searched the ditch for the source of this smell and noticed wisps of smoke coming from the bush between the east side of Highway 99 and the Valley Trail. I grabbed my water bottle and ran up the hill into the underbrush where I found a plume of smoke coming out of a log covered in dried moss and the guilty cigarette butt laying next to the blackened moss. After emptying my water bottle onto the smouldering log I cycled to the fire hall and returned to the site with the fire crew.
It is inconceivable to me that some ignorant moron, who must have spent the night in the bush, would put out their cigarette on bone-dry moss and walk away. The area was covered in garbage so I'm not sure how long someone had been using this area for a home, but I'm certain there are many similar sites throughout our valley and that really scares me. I have no idea how many other people had cycled past this spot on the highway before me, but a few passed me as I was searching the ditch for burning butts and they never stopped.
My message to everyone is to be extremely diligent when walking, cycling or driving anywhere, keep all your senses alert and if you see or smell something please don't just keep on going, contact the authorities so we don't end up losing our homes because of the recklessness of some unenlightened imbecile in our valley.
I find it very sad to hear endless stories of starving athletes eating Kraft Dinner and peanut butter sandwiches while pursuing their Olympic dreams.
In the meantime, endless amounts of money seems to be available for studies, promotions and projects as well as world travelling mayors, councillors and municipal employees.
I challenge our lawmakers to somehow find a way to provide direct financial support to our local Olympic-bound athletes. Maybe if one less politician went on a paid holiday one more athlete from our country would find their way to the 2006 Olympics at Turin, Italy.
Please accept the challenge.
The way I see it, as a citizen of this town since the early 1960s, I am appalled that a big American company like Weyerhaeuser and their local contractors C.R.B. are again considering logging on the face of the hill above Pemberton.
Lets face it, in 2001 when the whole town said "leave this hill alone", some kind of deal was struck that enabled them to do about 300 logging truck loads on a Weyerhaeuser licence and some Crown timber adjacent to this timber licence to make it a feasible helicopter show. They say "Oh look what a wonderful job we did", but as we know the logging they did then had no sight lines visible from town. Now the 29 hectares in question are right on the face of the mountain, so why even bother saying this?
I for one have seen the "wonderful" job they did on the Crown portion of this logging and I have pictures to back this up. Believe me, if you superimposed this mess onto this 29 hectare portion it will be a huge eyesore with the potential, in my opinion, to devalue property in this town: logging in the watershed, future slide damage and just plain out and out people won't want to buy in a community where logging takes place on a hill right in our watershed and the visual backdrop of the town!
All of this for what most of us thought a deal that was made and now is being broken.
Isn't it funny that most of the people thought that with the Crown wood thrown in last time to sweeten the deal, the logging in 2002 was a one-time thing. But alas the principles from C.R.B. tell us that no, we who thought that are all mistaken. And now they intend to log this hill no matter what anyone thinks. Give us a break!
When Steve Miles and Bernice Patterson presented C.R.B.s new logging plan to council, a meeting I attended, we were pretty astounded when they said no deal was ever made and now they would go ahead with logging right behind town regardless of what people thought. Not only great P.R. but as far as I'm concerned a deal reneged on maybe not on paper but definitely in good faith. We thought the 2002 logging was the end of it.
When someone says we can take out two out of three trees and it won't have much of a visual impact on this area I ask myself, are we really expected to swallow this?
I for one will park my butt up that hill if I have to, and the older I get the more that butt is becoming an immovable object!
Earlier this year I was glad to spend a few weeks in Whistler while studying English and having fun on the mountain at the same time. Unfortunately, I had an accident on my second-to-last day on the slopes and broke my right shoulder. This accident occurred almost six months ago, and although my shoulder is getting better every week, I still have a few weeks of physio to go until it will be as it was before. So this letter is to thank all the people/organizations who made my pain a little easier to take, encouraged and comforted me and gave me hope during those hard days:
The Crichton Family in Alpine Meadows for their helpful support, especially, but not only after the accident;
Advantage EJ School for their uncomplicated efforts and their always friendly way of doing their business;
The Mountain Safety Team on Blackcomb for their quick response and the comforting and truly professional help on the slopes;
British Columbia Ambulance Service for giving me a ride to the Health Care Centre when I needed it the most;
All the doctors, nurses and other staff members at Whistler Health Care Centre and at the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver for a great medical service provided and for being patient while I had problems understanding the medical terms.
And just in case I forgot to mention anybody, please dont take it personally. I hope to come back one day and to enjoy the greatest mountains again, whether in winter or in summertime. Thank you all so much!
St. Gallen, Switzerland
To the lovely lady in the silver midsize sedan: I did not realize I ran the red light on Lorimer Road on Sunday, Aug. 15th. I Honked at you, but I did not realize that I was having a heat stroke/brain fart and forgot about the advance left turn lane. My sincere apologies, if you are ever in the vicinity of Behind the Grind I would love the chance to buy you a coffee or lunch.
Chris Brain-boiled-in-coffee Quinlan
Re: The Kyle Greer Benefit
Id like to thank all those who came out to it.
Id also like to take the time to thank the following people: Marcia Fordyce, Kevin Wallace, Heather Roberts, Mike Hofbauer, Drew Brunton, Steve White, Molly Walker and Carla Greer. I sincerely appreciate it.