Re: Article on death of Dave Sheets
To many living in Whistler area, this letter may express a very unpopular opinion, but I feel that this "minority" voice must be heard, because I may be speaking for a majority of a very important group at Whistler-Blackcomb, a visiting skier and tourist.
In reading the article on Dave Sheets' death, one can only assume he was skiing very, very fast when he encountered another skier below a knoll, and was unable to avoid hitting the other skier. Your story mentioned he was wearing a helmet (good!) and skiing on Honeycomb Run (a blue run!). Fortunately, the other skier was not seriously injured (or killed) as well.
I come to Whistler-Blackcomb as an intermediate skier and a visitor, to enjoy the skiing and other benefits of the area. But I am frankly terrified when skiing the upper blue slopes by expert skiers who ski at speeds far in excess of what seems prudent in a crowded ski area. No one seems to pay any attention to "Slow" signs. Ski Patrol personnel seem to spend their time in the Ski Patrol Hut I only saw them leaning over victims. Several times, I noticed personnel wearing jackets marked "Mountain Safety" but only once saw them stop four snowboarders on Olympic Run at the end of the day. I believe the management of Whistler-Blackcomb fails to provide runs where the expert skier can be more challenged, without exposing out-of-towners to the risk of being run off the blue runs. And its just as bad, if not worse, on the green runs.
I would really be interested in reading the Ski Patrol accident report on the collision that killed Dave Sheets. He may have been all the fine things that your story said about him, but I wonder how long it had been since he bothered to read the Alpine Responsibility Code that is posted all over the ski area on poles supporting the ski lifts, in the lodges, and on lift tickets.
You should be editorially deploring the accident you should be condemning the atmosphere where his actions are condoned you should recognize that Whistler-Blackcomb should be run for the visitors and not just the 9,000 living in the Whistler area.
David M. Blakemore
I had lost faith in Mr. Maxwell after his fence sitting regarding the Olympics but he has stormed back with this weeks editorial slamming our wrong footed premier for his ski boot faux pas. Brilliant. I too noticed this remarkable fashion crime. But G.D. didn't mention the appalling clothing. Our illustrious premier was wearing very old Far West pants with what I believe was a Columbia Jacket. Surely his handlers could have made sure he was wearing one of the many leading apparel brands that are made in Canada and show a lot more taste and savvy than his thrift store specials. In the photo he looked like a complete geek, just so god damned happy to be there hanging around with these cool international guys! Almost like royalty those IOC officials and our benevolent dictator, Mr. Chretien, along as well.
He looked like a complete rube. The scary part is, he probably acted like one too. I mean after all, it would be consistent with the recent drunk driving charge, the new open season on wolves and grizzlies... he looked every part the idiot so completely out of sync and out of place with his company and his surroundings, just like his governments policies. Maybe our man Mr. Nebbeling could advise him with proper fashion sense. After all Ted has always considered himself a bit of a dandy. Especially since Ted is the guy leading the charge on the "spend like were all going to die tomorrow" Olympic bid strategy... somewhere in the $30+ million they could have bought poor Gordon some new gear. C'mon Ted, where are your priorities?
I can only hope that the Euros, who are a little bit hyper-sensitive about the whole enviro thing, take note of the recent rape, pillage, kill and burn strategies that our government has decided to pursue. Half the province for the exclusive use of the resource extraction industries, kill the endangered species, wipe out the salmon with poor science... gosh at this rate we could become just like Texas by 2010, no animals or natural amenities to look at, but damn we'd be rich and powerful and all will fall at our feet. As John Maynard Keynes said, "the definition of capitalism is the incredible belief that the most wicked men will take the most wickedest of actions for the benefit of the greater good." Sounds familiar doesn't it? I just know that all these people are making decisions solely based on what they think is best for us. No personal agendas there... no siree. Strictly for the common good.
I wish this whole Olympic fiasco and the poor state of our wrong headed government could be fixed as easily as a new pair of boots or a new outfit for Gordon. Now that would be something worth paying for.
Re: First Nations reach for the rings
Clare Ogilvies article claims that the 2010 Olympics is a chance for hope for the Lil'wat and Squamish people. True, the few benefits that both Nations will receive sound good. The pre-Olympic hype is meant to put a positive spin on Lil'wat and Squamish participation in the Olympic bid campaign, and the few benefits that both Nations are supposed to receive for their co-operation. However, Lil'wat participation has been done without the official consent of the Lil'wat people. Here is a chronology of events that led to Lil'wat's signing of the bid.
Outgoing Chief and Council signed the 2010 Olympic bid agreement with Premier Gordon Campbell, the Olympic Committee and the Squamish Nation on Nov. 22, 2002. They signed a Band Council resolution supporting the Bid on Nov. 26, 2002. Chief and Council then held a general meeting with the people on Dec. 3, 2002. After it was clear that Chief and Council had no support for the agreement that they had already signed, and passed a Band Council resolution for; they were forced to hold a mock Band Council resolution vote on Dec. 3rd, because it was already a done deal.
Ogilvie uses the word "people" in her article, stating that both Lil'wat and Squamish "people" strongly endorse the bid. But when agreements are signed without the prior knowledge of the people, before it is brought to the people, do the people really have a say?
Ogilvie mentions that there are concerns of trust by Lil'wat Band members who are not in favour of the Olympics. True, agreements that have been signed in the past have not been upheld or honoured by all levels of government.
At the Lil'wat election campaign meeting held on Feb. 17, candidates expressed concerns regarding the Band's deficit, and how it may relate to the funds not being handled properly. Others felt that the Lil'wat need to look beyond the Department of Indian Affairs for Band revenues. Others were concerned about exactly how the Olympic bid would affect Lil'wat traditional lands. Some Band members are suspicious that the reasons for signing the Olympic bid agreement seems to come down to the first issue, along with the fact that another major decision regarding a power plant at Ure Creek where the Lil'wat have 2,000 ancestors buried, was made without the people's official consent.
It is true that First Nations people now have to look at different ways to raise Band revenue. However, according to the people, the issues also have to take into account traditional lands, the environment and leaders that they can trust. Then the Lil'wat and other First Nations can look to the future and start trusting agreements with non-Native people again. But trust starts at home.
Taking the issue of traditional lands and the environment into account, maybe the Lil'wat people would have endorsed the Olympic bid if they felt that they had trust and faith in the outcome, and all levels of government, including leadership at the Band level. Communication, trust, and a positive decision about major projects has to start at the Band level; concerning how Chief and Council relay their reasons for decision-making to Band membership. Regardless of who gets in as Chief and Council on March 10, 2003, these issues have to be taken into account.
Theresa A. Peters
I am very disappointed to see a McDonalds opening in Pemberton. Although there is now the worlds first Mchotel in Germany (www.mcspotlight.org), I still do not believe that our manifest destiny is global monoculture. Community expansion should not be a rubber stamp of corporate logos in a strip mall alongside a highway; its painful to see.
This is a letter of thanks to all of the people who made the first ever Whistler Kids Freeride Challenge a great success. Thanks mostly to all of the kids who skied like champs and made the event worth having.
Thank you Tyler Gigg and Jasmine Flanagan for coaching these incredible kids. Thanks to our illustrious panel of Judges Chris Winter, Leslie Anthony, Wendy Brookbank, and Peter Smart. Thank you Whistler Kids, Chuck Samson from Smith Sport Optics, Ryan Talarico from Blizzard skis, Extremely Canadian, Comor, Paddy Kaye from Rossignol, Summit, TMC, Doglotion.com, Joe Lammers, Snowcovers, Mcoo's, Kathmandu, Glacier Shop, Fanatyk-co, and SnowMotion for all of the amazing prizes. Thanks to Bruce Rowles and Therese Lundgren for shooting the event.
Thank you Shawn Fleming, my wife Yolanda, and my dad for all the help setting up and running the event. Thanks again everyone, your involvement made this event!
Head coach, Whistler Kids Freeride Club