Letters to the Editor for the week of April 18 

click to enlarge PHOTO BY STEVE ANDREWS - Shongz Asoka, a local Karamajong bike enthusiast and guide, (left) rides with Whistler local Pat Montani, founder of Bicycles for Humanity, in Uganda. Steve Andrews reflects on the trip and the help offered for the initiative Karamajong Bike in letters.
  • Photo by Steve Andrews
  • Shongz Asoka, a local Karamajong bike enthusiast and guide, (left) rides with Whistler local Pat Montani, founder of Bicycles for Humanity, in Uganda. Steve Andrews reflects on the trip and the help offered for the initiative Karamajong Bike in letters.

Bald is beautiful

Bald is indeed beautiful, as is the very generous community of Whistler. The 17th annual Whistler Balding For Dollars event went down at the GLC on Saturday, April 6 and was another resounding success.  While dollars are still coming in, the event has already raised more than $22,500 this year, bringing the running total since inception to more than $335,000. 

A huge thank-you to all our partners in the event, including: the GLC; Blackcomb Barber Shop; Pique Newsmagazine; Mountain FM; and the Crystal Lodge.

Thanks also to all our participants, volunteers, and donors. We couldn't make such a big impact on the lives of kids with cancer at BC Children's Hospital without you. Our combined efforts make a HUGE difference! We look forward to doing it all again in 2020!

Dave and Wendy Clark // Founders, Whistler Friends Society

The death of B.C. parks

These days, people bring everything they have at home to their park holiday. Why do they do that? What's the point? Why don't they just drive down the road and stay in a friend's driveway?

Save on gas, avoid sitting in traffic jams or ferry lineups for hours. You could cook or order in your favourite food. Why not make this the next craze? All wildlife in the parks would love that.

Who will protect nature against the parks department development? Government and industry knew 100 years ago that industry and too many people would kill our parks. Where did that wisdom go?

Over the next 10 to 20 years, government and developers will pave more roads into our parks. Parks were not made for making money. Parks are made for protecting wilderness.

How long until Cheakamus Lake Road is widened and paved. Why do government and developers want wilderness to be made fully accessible not only to people, but also all kinds of machines?

Our parks are becoming real estate targets for developers. Our wilderness has more and more powerline roads, oil and gas roads, run of river, LNG roads. Look at the Northern Rocky Mountains Provincial Park.

There are oil and gas service roads all throughout. B.C. does not need comfort and ease to every corner of our wilderness. Why is it that backcountry wildlife officers, safety protection, search and rescue, DFO are inadequately funded and staffed while millions for asphalt can be found—and with asphalt comes endless rules and regulations, fees and bills, service charges, taxes, tow trucks.

Doesn't look like a park holiday to me. It boggles the mind at our illusory protection of our parks, wilderness, and wildlife. And it doesn't matter who's in power—left, right or centre. It will not stop. The old parks magic is gone.

Dave Bennett // Whistler

Generous support

Whistler Adaptive Sports Program would like to give a big shout-out of appreciation to the Lift Coffee Company for its continued support to our program of helping children and adults who are experiencing learning or physical disabilities to get up on the mountain and learn to ski, snowboard or sit-ski on our wonderful mountains here in Whistler.

The Lift Company has been helping us by offering Whistler Adaptive the opportunity to display Gogglesocs that are available by donation to anyone to protect their ski goggles.

These Gogglesocs were provided by Josh Gray, co-founder of Gogglesoc, who generously helped us with the design and production of these wonderful ski goggle protectors.

As we are a charity and depend on the generosity of others to run our program, the support and kindness of these two organizations over the past few years has enabled us to raise funds in order to help others.

Thank you very much,

David Bell, Fundraising Committee // Whistler Adaptive Sports

Community support appreciated

Last fall, I had the opportunity to travel to Karamoja, a remote corner of Uganda to teach trail building to some of the locals. We prepped more than 20 kilometres of trails for the Tour of Karamoja, an event spearheaded by the late Paul Sherwen, who grew up in Uganda before becoming a pro cyclist and later, the voice of the Tour de France along with Phil Leggett.

The event was a success; however, the locals whom I helped teach these newfound skills were without the ability to ride the trails themselves. As a result, I helped them form a community bike organization that was modelled after my experience as a member of WORCA over the years.

The goal is to help kickstart bike culture in the region so that they can someday soon welcome the world through tourism. But I was aware that this can't be some outside imposition, that the only way for the community to see prosperity was if the culture grew from the ground up with the locals in charge. Getting access to good bikes was the logical first step.

So I put the call out to the Sea to Sky community and the response was overwhelming. (Recently), we collected the bikes and have nearly 20 trail-worthy steeds ready to ship overseas. 

I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone who helped out, especially: Andrea Watson; Kathy Rose; Pat Montani; the Rey family; Jamie Drummond; Angie Nolan; Elanor Bushfield; Belinda Grant; Trevor Burton; the Whistler Bike Co.; and Howe Sound Brewing for their generosity. Also to the Pemby crew for helping to disassemble the bikes and get them ready for shipping overseas.

It truly does take the efforts of many to see something of this scale happen, especially with no budget or any big corporate support. If you'd like to help you can find more information at karamojabike.org. As they say in Karamoja, Alakara Noi!

Steve Andrews // Whistler

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