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This week's letters

This is a rebuttal to Joe Bako's letter (Logging decision costs province, Pique Oct. 1).

This is a rebuttal to Joe Bako's letter (Logging decision costs province, Pique Oct. 1). It stated that the slope behind Pemberton which is in clear view of the village, should be logged for the betterment of the provincial economy, and it would actually attract tourism to the area. Oh, where to begin.

Firstly, the amount of money brought into the province from the entire Sea to Sky Corridor vastly outweighs the local forestry opportunities. And, yes, this area will still be bringing in money 20-70 years down the road, unlike your logging operation. Not to mention the housing boom in Pemberton right now, which all look directly at that slope Weyerhaeuser backed down from logging.

Secondly, I don't know the last time you flew across this beautiful, yet partially destroyed province and you could honestly tell someone that it isn't being logged aggressively enough. Moerover, when was the last time you were ocean kayaking off the coast of Vancouver Island and could say we are protecting too many forested areas. Not only does clear-cut logging forever change the ecology of the area, but it also affects the ground water, the soil's mineral content and the wildlife. Additionally, let's not forget about what the forests that are standing do for us; namely, they hold moisture in the soil and clean the air we breathe.

Additionally, I may have missed something, but I don't know when tourists have flocked to a clear-cut to admire its beauty and the intelligence of the people who have cut it. Whatever happened to developing value-added products and not basing our economy on producing wood products that satisfy basic human needs, that are many times exported as squared logs without anything value-added to them?

We must not be so short sighted when it comes to our forestry industry, and our financial health as a province, as to look just a few years ahead. We, as a generation who inhabit this planet for a mere micro-second of time, must look at the big picture and truly believe that we cannot upset the balance of nature further. If this means re-thinking how B.C. views its forests, then as a human race we must.

So, Joe Bako, the next time you drive over the Hurley take a moment to get out of your vehicle and look around. Then tell me the feeling that consumes you as you look at the surrounding clear-cut.

Lesley Clements



Patrolled and controlled

My daughter and I just spent a wonderful day hiking out to the summit of Flute Mountain. The Musical Bumps always seems to present themselves in a unique light this time of year, with the autumn leaves and grass reflecting their earthy tones in yellow, gold, and red. I would urge anyone who has the time this Thanksgiving weekend to take advantage of the last chance for a ride up the Whistler Village Gondola and do some alpine sightseeing.

The alpine access Whistler-Blackcomb has provided Whistler residents and visitors is much to be thankful for. Although, their latest excuse for headlines leaves room for discussion. While out on Flute, I could not help but be disappointed with new fencing Whistler-Blackcomb is building as a boundary marker. The fence line crosses the existing trail no less than four times and actually bisects the summit point. Concrete footings wrapped in plastic have also been put in place on the summit point. Further along the 20-foot-high fence line more concrete footings can be found. I would assume these footings are designed to support some sort of signage.

I do not understand the rationale for this type of expansion. People come to Whistler to get away from signs and fence lines. The skiing and hiking opportunities on Flute present true value. An asset our resort can use to differentiate itself from most other resorts in North America. Now it is destined to be a patrolled and controlled bowl just like every other bowl, at every other resort.

If Whistler-Blackcomb is genuinely concerned with public safety, I would advise you to direct your attention to helping people find their way out of the Flute basin and not push them further from the resort. If liability concerns are forcing you to build a boundary marker, place the fence line down lower on Flute with a gate clearly marking an access point. Instead of grooming up toward the west side of Flute, lay a groomed track down low below the north side, directing skiers back through Boundary Bowl and onto Burnt Stew.

At least then a parent and child may still be able to enjoy a somewhat pure mountain experience with unobstructed panoramic views and the sense of wilderness.

P.S. Please don’t blame this useless fence on BC Parks!

Dean Cote



A challenge for Pique

On the beautiful Saturday afternoon of Oct. 2 nd , we decided to take our dog out for a walk and a swim at one of our favourite local spots, Lucille Lake. It’s common knowledge that our lovely Lucille has become a busy spot, and as such we usually expect to find litter and debris left by campers and partiers. We were not expecting what we found this time.

Along the access trail, fastened to tree branches by blue surveyor's tape, were a number of bright yellow deflated balloons. We were confused until we found the Cheakamus Challenge ribbons (finishing line?) and proudly displayed Pique Newsmagazine sign pointing the way for challengers to go. We were really upset and disturbed – the signs made it clear that the "Challenge" was exactly a week beforehand. Why are these artifacts left behind?

In our sustainability-driven community, I expect more out of such publicized and financially endorsed events. I don't delude myself to believing that our environmental approach is actually as clean and squeaky as we'd all like to believe it is, but come on people, balloons ? How long have we been hearing about the dangers of balloons to wildlife that think them to be a potentially tasty snack? How long do you think it would take nature to reclaim the yards of plastic, 3-inch wide ribbon we confiscated?

The Cheakamus Challenge's leftovers can be re-claimed at the Pique Newsmagazine's office where we deposited them. We challenge the organizers to please be more considerate of our local recreational areas when setting up (and taking down) next year's race.

Chris and Meg Hancock



It has come to my attention that bears from Whistler are being "dumped" off in the Pemberton Meadows. I have witness on a few accounts, the cage with the bear in it being transported from Whistler, to just behind our house, where the bear is dropped off.

I would like to let it be known that quite a few of these bears have had to be disposed of by some unnamed local farmers, as the are threatening livestock and are not afraid of people or dogs. We have had numerous bears in our barn, where we have children playing. Needless to say, this has to stop.

These are beautiful animals that are being destroyed because of the laziness of whoever is dumping the bears off in someone else's back yard, as opposed to taking them into the wilderness. We as a community have seen a dramatic increase of bears in Pemberton Meadows. I am not saying that Whistler is to blame for this, I am saying that we already have enough bears watching over our livestock; we don't need Whistler's problems discarded onto us.

Melissa Hanson



On a several occasions over the past year or so large numbers of perfectly good hot water tanks have ended up in the municipal landfill. The reason for this is that some strata councils, apparently concerned about potential water damage from failed tanks, are passing bylaws requiring that hot water tanks be replaced before their warranties expires. While some tanks can fail before the warranty expires or soon after, the majority will last for 10-15 years or longer. The problem is that warranties that were once 10 years are in many instances now five years or less for the same hot water tank. Bylaws that require replacement prior to the expiration of a warranty are sending large numbers of tanks to the dump with five-10 years of service remaining.

If replacing hot water tanks before the warranty expired played a significant role in reducing water damage to property then this practice could perhaps be justified. But failed hot water tanks is not the issue. Installation is. The B.C. Plumbing Code requires that "When located in a building where damage to building construction can occur as a result of tank leakage, every storage-type service water heater shall be installed within a corrosion resistant water tight containment area… which discharges to an acceptable location." Acceptable location in Whistler means the building sewer. When a hot water tank installed according to the plumbing code fails any water that leaks from it ends up in the sewage treatment plant in Function Junction. If the tank is not installed in a pan as required by code then the installation, not the tank itself, is the culprit should water damage occur. In such situations whether the tank is under warranty or not should be irrelevant in any insurance claim. Tanks with warranties can fail just as easily as tanks without warranties and cause water damage if not properly installed.

I have inspected plumbing systems for the municipality for almost 25 years. Prior to this time I had my own plumbing business. During this period I have never seen or heard of a situation where a failed hot water tank installed in a pan to code has caused water damage. If anyone has conclusive evidence that this has happened it should be reported to the appropriate authorities so the provisions of the Plumbing Code can be reviewed, and revised if necessary, to ensure that water damage does not occur when tanks fail as they inevitably will.

Given that Canadians have the third largest ecological footprint in the world and Whistler is committed to the principles of the Natural Step the misguided practice of some stratas in adopting bylaws that require the disposal of perfectly good appliances is irresponsible if not reprehensible.

David MacPhail



While everyone is occupied with refuting a gondola up the Chief, let's not allow another one of our recreational gems to be robbed from us.

The Ashlu is a world class kayaking destination and because of impending hydro projects the sixth most endangered creek/river in B.C. Recreationalists want it left in its natural state, as do the majority of locals and concerned citizens of Squamish.

If you have seen the Rutherford Creek hydro project you will understand our position. Ledcor's proposed hydro project on the Ashlu Creek will be three times the size, and in a significantly narrower valley. The closest resident lives 1.9 kilometres away from the site of this incredibly noisy eye-sore.

Don't believe that Upper Squamish residents will be the only people inconvenienced by this project. Ledcor has at least three of these kinds of applications within the Ashlu drainage, and has an active application for an IPP on Tantalus Creek (also in Upper Squamish Valley). There are currently 64 proposed hydro projects in the Sea to Sky corridor!

When B.C. hydro needs to upgrade its transmission lines to accommodate all this power, say hello Squamish to power pole city! Just ask anyone who has lived in Pemberton for the past few years. You don't have to be a kayaker or rafter to be amazed and awestruck by the beauty and splendor of the Ashlu. Visit the 25 Mile bridge on the Ashlu valley road and see for yourself.

It's time for Squamish to say no to becoming the Outdoor Wreckedreation Capital of Canada!

Trent Lynn & Kristine Miles

Upper Squamish Valley


I am writing this letter because of an incident that happened on my street (Fitzsimmons Road South), in front of my house Sept. 29, 2004.

A neighbour had stopped in front of my house to talk to me; my four-year-old son was on the other side of the truck talking to his child. A white car came speeding down the street towards us. Worried that my son might run out from the other side of the truck, I used a hand signal for the white car to slow down. The elderly man driving began to speed up while showing me his middle finger and yelling for me to get off the road. It was not my safety I was worried about; it was my four-year-old son's. I was also quite upset about the treatment I received from this elderly man – very rude.

I know of 16 children (aged 1-10) that live on this street. People drive very fast all the time. It's time we put large speed bumps on this street to slow these people down. Is it going to take a child killed by a car to get the municipality to take action? I know I'm not the only one concerned about this matter.

P.S. An apology from the man in the white car would also be appreciated. This is a family neighbourhood.

Brenda Reith



I have always wanted to write this letter pertaining to the municipal workers of Whistler. They do a fantastic job. I have been to the water park numerous times with my grandchildren and having to frequent the washrooms, I have always been delighted with their cleanliness.

On other occasions I have seen municipal workers empty the garbage cans while sitting at Blenz, and noticed how immaculately they scrub out each can inside and out. I know many who say "they are getting paid," but to those I wish to reiterate that integrity doesn’t automatically come with a pay cheque.

So a heartfelt thanks to all the employees who keep Whistler looking beautiful in every aspect.

Thank you. It is very much appreciated.

Marja Whitton



Fire Prevention Week

I would like to say thank you to Bruce Stewart and all the staff at Nesters Market for their recent donation to the Whistler Fire Service’s open house that took place at Halls 1 and 3, and at Nesters Market this past Sunday. The open house was to kick off fire prevention week, which was a great success and helped to raise money for muscular dystrophy. This year’s fire prevention themes include bringing awareness to smoke alarms and the need for chimney cleaning. If anyone has any questions regarding these or any other fire prevention questions, you can always call the Whistler Fire Service at 604 935-8260.

Jeff Wilgosh

Whistler Fire Fighters Association


Thanks to Donna Savage for organizing and leading the Mature Adult Walking Group stretch/walk program supported by the Mature Action Committee and Whistler Parks and Recreation.

Words can hardly describe the group's excitement and appreciation. Here are some of our comments and the reasons for loving it:

Great people to be with! The non-competitive spirit! A good motivator to keep us going!

I love the stretching part! Wonderful, I feel so alive!

I feel a variety of muscles! When I am at home I say I will, but I don't – this way I do. It's excellent!

We could go on and on. Please join us on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. at Meadow Park Sports Centre and find out for yourself.

Let Donna "Make your day"!

We look forward to meeting you soon.

Luise Zinsli, MAC



The soccer season has already enjoyed one month of play. It is exciting to see so many young players in our community taking an interest in the game and so many parents willing to help with coaching duties.

While we are enjoying many successes – a regular schedule with Squamish for the first time, a planned second annual Thanksgiving tournament, a more organized in house league for the younger players – the club still has trouble communicating to parents two very important issues. They are:

• All athletes must be registered using the proper registration form and have paid their club dues to ensure that the athlete is insured on the pitch and the uniforms and equipment each child is receiving is supported by all the athletes. Many families have not paid but their children are playing and we, the executive, urge families to pay.

• Uniforms that are handed out are not returned to the team manager when asked for. The club still has many uniforms in the community that were not turned in last spring and we urge people to return those uniforms to club equipment manager Bob Calladine. We also remind those that have just received the uniform that the uniform is the property of Whistler Youth Soccer Club and needs to be treated properly and returned to the manager when asked for.

It is exciting to see so many enjoying the sport of soccer and I wish everyone the best of play for the remaining months of the fall season.

Andrée Vajda Janyk