My side of the fence
I?m writing response to Paul Kamon?s letter in your Sept. 28 issue. I?d like to start by complimenting Paul on his obvious writing skill. He even had me feeling guilty about living in the first world. Kudos. It took me hours to get back to normal. I was forced to eat pounds of McDonald?s politically incorrect hamburgers. I then had to watch hours of cheesy American sitcoms interspersed with occasional CNN coverage of what they love to call Ground Zero. Only after this barrage of capitalist dogma was I able to pull myself together enough to respond to this self proclaimed "Humanist."
Like many others Paul does not support military response to the Sept 11 attacks as proposed by the good old US of A. He seems to think that we of the first world have motives other than "freedom and democracy" in mind. He goes on to say that we may just be trying to "preserve the status quo."
I could be mistaken in my interpretation of Paul?s letter, but I think he is saying that we, as a civilized nation should turn the other cheek.
In response, I must ask this question: What do we do the next time?
Does he think that these attacks will stop if we ignore them? I?m sure he is not that naïve.
Would he rather we sat by and watched our civilization disintegrate until our standard of living is no better than that of the huddled masses of Afghanistan?
It?s no secret that we have things much easier on this "side of the fence," but that means that we have a responsibility to share the good fortune with other, less fortunate nations. It certainly doesn?t mean that we should let our enemies pick us apart because we have a guilty conscience.
I think Paul has a little too much confidence in the strength of our nation. Our economy is in a shambles after the attacks on the United States. The effects are even being felt here in little ol? Whistler. The local tourism guru?s are predicting fewer visitors than normal this year. The mountain has already had to rethink its hiring strategy for the season. Air Canada has been left reeling in the wake of the hijackings. The nations carrier (the 11 th largest in the world) has been forced to lay off thousands of employees because Canadians are afraid to fly. Our government has had to bail our the airline with $200 million in aid. All this after just one attack. What happens if there are more?
If these attacks are allowed to continue it could destroy the global economy. At the very least the North American economy could be sent into a recession, or even worse, a depression. How will this benefit the poor of the Third World?
All civilizations eventually fall. The unlikely Vandals and Visigoths toppled the Roman Empire. Who is to say that if we don?t act decisively now that we won?t share a similar fate to that of Rome?
I like life on my side of the fence; it?s not perfect but I?d support any action necessary to keep it this way.
Re: to the article in the Sept. 14 Pique, an interview between Leslie Anthony, self proclaimed "Professor of ski culture," and reporter Greig Bethel.
Upon reading the opinions of Leslie Anthony, I could not contain some feelings of disbelief about some of the issues that he was "professing." First of all Whistler has four seasons. The main two are the winter and summer seasons. The reason why I am emphasizing two, is because historically summer seasons in ski towns were known not to make a profit. But for the last few years, Whistler has changed this stereotype. Not only has the mountain been benefiting from the increase in people, but the individual operators have as well.
Anyone that lives in Whistler will tell you that the clientele is very different in each of the two seasons. Leslie makes the mistake of not differentiating between these two and solely focuses on the skiing season. Leslie gives an all out to the ski bums and how important they are to whistler and that there needs to be "a certain amount of respect for each other." These statements are fine, but then Leslie also says that Whistler is in danger of becoming cheesy because of such things as the Trolley bus/tours.
Bottom line is that there are more middle aged and elderly people coming to Whistler in the summer time and these numbers, according to statistics and demographics, will not fall but continue to rise. In Whistler there are not a lot of individual companies that cater to the older clients, who aren?t as mobile as younger people. In other words, are such things as Trolley Tours cheesy (as Leslie says) and should we be careful not to let these types of cheesy activities happen in the community?
The simple answer is in what the market wants. If we do not listen or cater to the people that come to the resort then we will be in big trouble. This may offend some of the ski bums that obviously must contribute to the community as much as the tourist do, but if we only cater to the ski elite or the bums of Whistler then eventually people will stop coming. The summer is an important industry in Whistler. This will obviously become more apparent this winter, especially after the tragic incidents that took place in the U.S.
Ultimately, whether people like it or not, Whistler is the "Disneyland" of ski resorts in North America for people all around the world. Being a tourist town we should look for new things for people to do and not just simply condemn them as something that "cheapens a community."
Guest Services Manager
Whistler Valley Trolley Tours
Another huge success!
Saturday saw an excellent turnout for Arbor Day, about 55 people showed up at the bottom of Lorimer Road. All the objectives were achieved, with the decommissioned trails planted up. Large trail entrances were narrowed and many strong volunteers carried tree stems into the forest to prevent braiding of the trails.
Thanks to AWARE, Western Forest Products and the Ministry of Forests for their major contributions. Also to Cutting Edge Signs, Don MacLaurin, Whistler Fisheries Stewardship Group, Whistler Angling Club, The Land Conservancy, The Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Whistler Museum & Archives, Rotarians and many other volunteers. Whistler Outdoor Experience was again generous with their facilities, supporting a joint celebration with B.C. Rivers Day.
We look forward to celebrating Arbor Day in May of 2002 in the Emerald Forest when the planting of the north gravel pit will take place.
Thanks to you for the excellent coverage leading up to this event!
Resort Municipality of Whistler
I wanted to thank all the local businesses and people who helped with the National Mountain Bike Team Fund-raiser at the Longhorn earlier this month. Some of us have just returned from the World Championships in Vail, Colorado (thanks to the fund-raiser).
Unfortunately, the whole Whistler team couldn?t make it due to the midweek NY disaster and the flight cancellations. I think we were lucky enough to have been allowed to race, considering one of our training days was cancelled as well as all other festivities.
Nonetheless, the experience of being an athlete in a world championship event is pretty exciting and we had an excellent week of training. The downhill course was technical and challenging with a 25-foot gap jump, many rock drops and finishing off with a crazy off camber section at the end.
Jeff Beatty had an excellent race, coming in 15 th for the Junior Men. I was nearing the same result for the senior women before I blew through the tape two corners from the finish and was disqualified. Will Routley tackled the tough cross country course and came out with 44 th place (and a big headache). That?s how racing goes, some good, some bad. But we came back with some cool Canadian jerseys and an awesome experience!
Thanks for supporting us and next year we?ll throw an even bigger party since the world championships will be held in Austria.
Thanks to our coach Chris Colbeck, and Martha Heintzman for driving non stop to see the race, to Fanatyk Co for fixing my bike, Scott for putting up with my travels, and my parents for picking me up in Seattle. And a big thanks to all these generous supporters who didn?t hesitate to give prizes for our fund-raiser.
Best trails in the World
As the 2001 WORCA Trail Maintenance Program comes to an end, I would like to express thanks to the following who?s help and generosity has been overwhelming: the WORCA Trails Committee: EVOLUTION, Lawrence and the staff @ Black?s, Carson, Duane & Bill of the BCR Lands Development, The Glacier Shop Team, Pete and the gang @ The Bike Co., Ru @ Teppan Village, Jen Lychy, Scott Hunter (perfect attendance record-awesome!), Don MacLaurin, the Outpost, Chris Bishop, Chris from the WOODLOT!, Channa Pepola, Andrew DeBoer, Keith Bennett, the Spin Sisters, Kip @ Merlin?s, Candace @ Cycling B.C., the Samurai (yamato domashi!), Dale Douglas, the RMOW and all the people that donated wood for free.
A very special thanks goes to Chris Markle, the WORCA trail contractor and Vanessa Carrington, the WORCA secretary. It was a pleasure working with you both this summer and I really appreciate all your hard work and dedication.
I would also like to thank all the volunteers who came out for the Whistler, Pemberton and Spruce Lake trail days and the eight Whistler trail nights.
We are blessed in this town to have such a strong mountain bike community, a community that respects and relishes this incredible environment we call home.
Director of Trails