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This week's letters

Say no to Whistler big box stores It was with great interest I read your article a couple of weeks ago regarding the rezoning application coming to council to allow a London Drugs store to open with a 16,000 square-foot location.

Say no to Whistler big box stores

It was with great interest I read your article a couple of weeks ago regarding the rezoning application coming to council to allow a London Drugs store to open with a 16,000 square-foot location.

Not to mention changing the flavour of the village from having locally owned and operated business to having all the clerks in nice blue smocks. I am not trying to mock the concept of uniformity but in my mind it is not what an active adventure-seeking clientele, which is whom I get the impression Whistler-Blackcomb is trying to attract here.

To put that in perspective, that is approximately five times the size of the Grocery Store in the main village, seven or eight times the size of Cittas, 16 times the size of Moguls, 25 times the size of Behind the Grind and close to 53 times the size of both 28-Minute Photo and the Crystal Lodge’s Foto Source!

I choose to compare these businesses for the reason they are unique and locally owned and patronized by residents.

While I don’t disagree the drug stores in town are severely lacking in enthusiasm and product mix, I still feel the addition of a store this big will do nothing but harm the viability of dozens of local businesses. I know there will be arguments that small businesses do survive big box concepts but we have a permanent population of less than 10,000 people. This is not Vancouver but I am sure with a little effort the village could be transformed into another outlet mall.

I urge the Mayor and Council to carefully consider the consequences of allowing such a large store to open in the heart of the village.

But I guess on the positive side it would be much easier to issue just a few business licenses to the London Drugs and Wal-Marts of the world than to have to deal with the plethora of small entrepreneurs who have been contributing to our economy and our guest experience.

I would also urge the landlords to step carefully when going from a mix of business to a few large tenants who ultimately will be in control of your destiny and guest experience.

Karen de Waard


Used Book Sale a best seller

Once again, the Used Book Sale, held on the Thanksgiving Weekend, has been a wonderful success! Over $2800 was raised to be split between the school libraries at Spring Creek and Whistler Secondary. The money raised will be used to purchase new books for both libraries.

There was a great selection of books to choose from at the sale, thanks to all the generous donors – the quantity and quality of the books donated is always amazing! Thanks also go to all the buyers were generous in their donations to this worthy cause as they stocked up on their winter reading material.

Thanks yous go out to all those who made this event possible: firstly to IGA Marketplace for allowing the sale to be held in front of the store and also to the TD Canada Trust, Nesters Market, and Whistler Public Library for being collection depots. Once again the Rotary Club of the Whistler Millenium stepped up to the plate to transport books and tables, and helped at the sale. Special thanks go to Rotary members Janet Brown, Margie McGraw, John Richmond, Len Van Leeuwen, Garry Clifford, Jeff Maskell, Bill Janyk and Lyn Stroshin.

Thanks also go out to volunteers who sorted books and manned the sale: Alison Hunter, Libby McKeever, Lisa Taylor, Judy Keith, Maggie Laird, Bev Newell, Fiona Halliwell and Lynn Sparks.

Lastly, thanks go out to the Whistler Question and Pique Newsmagazine for their articles on the sale which always contribute greatly to the success of the sale. Happy reading everyone!

Jane Reid


Thanks from the rest of us

What a great end to an amazing summer. I would like to thank the people at the Muni for the superb job they did in conceiving and building the "Tin Pants / Molly Hogan" trails.

After years of beating myself up on stumps, roots, rocks etc. it is truly a pleasure to be able to get the similar outdoor trail experience, and still come home in one piece.

Thanks for the kind consideration for the non-elite athletes.

Alan Lande


Greeting Pique

After picking up your magazine and reading Joe Bako’s response to "Weyeheuser backs down on logging Pemberton slope", I felt compelled to respond with a little quiz for Joe Bako.

Question 1

Of the 13% land base that BC has set aside as parks and protected spaces, what percentage of commercially valuable ancient temperate rainforest ecosystems have been set aside for protection?

A) Greater than 13%

B) 13%

C) Less than 13% but greater than 6%

D) Less than 6%

Question 2

Why are old-growth forests so much more valuable to logging companies than working forests?

A) Because old-growth forests are rare and harder to find making them more valuable

B) Because the grain of the wood of in working forests is not tight and hard like trees grown in a more natural environment making them less valuable to the logging companies

Question 3

Logging close to town is always a good idea…

A) Because it creates opportunities in the short run

B) Because once the trees are gone the tourists are going to come in droves to take a look at our ugly ‘working forests’

C) None of the above

Correct Answers – 1)d, 2)b, 3)c

How’d you do Joe?

Lloyd Guenther



I admired the passion, but disagreed with the conclusions in Lesley Clements’ rebuttal (Take the long-term view) to my letter (Logging decision costs province).

Logging the Pemberton slope would not reduce the total amount of money generated in the Sea to Sky Corridor one penny, now or in the long run. Pemberton would actually be better off with the extra work for local loggers and tree planters. The tourists would keep on coming as before, and all the new homes would be sold.

Look at Whistler. Nearby clear cuts certainly haven’t hindered its development or diminished its popularity.

For an overview of BC's conservation efforts one needs only to spread out a map of the province and look at the preserved areas highlighted in green. I have a hunch even Lesley Clements might be impressed.

It seems we’ve managed to talk ourselves into regarding old growth as being superior to second growth environmentally and esthetically. This is not necessarily so. The biggest environmental problem is increasing carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. Fortunately, trees absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide to feed and grow. The faster a forest grows, the more carbon dioxide it absorbs. The younger the forest, the faster it grows (as a rule).

Eventually, the forest gets old, stops growing and becomes "carbon neutral". That’s the fancy way of saying that the amount of carbon dioxide released back into the atmosphere by disease and decay in the forest equals the amount the forest absorbs. Over-mature forests can actually be net carbon dioxide contributors. It follows then that the environmentally most effective forest is a growing forest. Besides performing the regular environmental, habitat and recreational functions, it also absorbs more atmospheric carbon dioxide.

I find it ironic that in this youth-obsessed age some would find young forests less beautiful than old growth.

My feelings at any clear cut would depend on what I find there. I would look for logging done according to the Forest Practices Code and for persuasive evidence of reforestation (natural and planted seedlings). If I would find the area well logged and well stocked, I would feel elated. If not, I would be upset.

As for clear cuts reflecting poorly on intelligence, pity those dumb Swedes and Finns. They have clear cut their forests several times over already. Still, the world regards them as paragons of sound forest management and environmental sensitivity. By contrast, the world resolutely ignores B.C.’s conservation record, stringent Forest Practices Code, and accomplishments in reforestation and second growth management.

Joe Bako


Wylie goes above and beyond

The letter below was received last week at the Visitor Information Centre (VIC). In celebration of Whistler Spirit, I thought it most appropriate to share with the rest of the community. Way to go Wylie!

"Hi Tina, it is with great pleasure that I am writing to you after a great holiday in your wonderful country. We arrived in your country on October 7th and although KLM had lost one suitcase we could not get any satisfaction from KLM and on the Friday, Sept 10 we arrived at your information centre in the morning and spoke to your man called Wylie Buchanan. In the process of our enquiries rergarding places to visit we happened to mention that we had no luggage. He was most annoyed that a visitor to the country was treated in such a shameful manner. He told us to go and have some food at the nearby restaurant and leave the matter in his hands…to quote his words "This will not do, I will get to know where your luggage is and be sure it will be today." He took the RV site particulars and that night at 9:30 p.m. he knocked on our door in the pouring rain. We could not believe that he had gone to so much trouble on our behalf, we all believe that he is an excellent ambassador for Canada. He made the holiday complete for us and we hope that you will inform him of our grateful thanks, you all do a very good job for us, the travelling public, and I am sure that sometimes your efforts go unheeded. Many thanks for making our holiday unforgettable.

Audrey & Stan Fairhurst, Mr. Sharp, and Ms. J Riley

P.S. By the way we were thrilled to see our first and only bear on our travels to Whistler which makes you special."

Tina Hayward

Whistler Chamber of Commerce

It is incorrect to say that speculators or online traders move markets. What moves the capital and securities market is information; and how quickly participants in those markets can determine what impact on the value of the financial asset that information will have. The advent of technology has allowed many more investors at the retail level to enter and exit the securities market at historically low costs. Technology has also put information in the hands of all market participants. Unlike in the 1920s when a select few had access to market information far before the majority of the market's participants.

The article last week in Cybernaut placed the blame of the "technology bubble" in 2000 squarely on the shoulders of the online traders. The article argued that the price of stocks as a result of the birth of the Internet and discount brokers, in particular Nortel, climbed to values not warranted by the companies' underlying business.True, speculation and greed did push the price of stocks higher and higher.

However, which had the biggest impact on stock market prices in 2000? Jack Grubman, online traders, speculators, hedge funds, the U.S. Federal Reserve, the Internet, the value of the U.S. dollar, or the U.S. dollar current account deficit? All had an impact, because all the factors above brought new information which the market had to process and apply to the value of the assets traded within it.

Bubbles happen; they happen all the time. From tulips in the 1600s to railroads in the 1900s. Online traders simply trade on the information they have at lower commissions now than in the past. Online traders also add liquidity to the market.

Should the author's mother had chosen to sell her Nortel stock in 2000 there would have been a long line of traders willing to buy because they felt their information at the time proved that Nortel was a good investment. If you remember, based on the information at the time, Enron, Adelphia and Global Crossing were good investments too. I am glad it only cost me $29.95 in commissions to lose my shirt with those investments rather than the industry standard of $85-$100.

Jon Decaigny