Letters to the Editor for the week of August 10th 

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Preventing fires is up to us

Recently, we installed 14 new fire extinguishers, one for every deck at 2014 London Lane. The grounds were swept of fire fuels, trees were inspected for dead limbs and potential susceptibility to enhancing a fire, notices were put up on the garage shed to keep barbecues away from siding and to and butt out all cigarettes in water.

I think we can all do more.

The province is in deep peril and we can all help.

I cannot believe how many cigarette butts litter the ground at every bus stop! 

Geoff Swan

A great day out!

A huge and appreciative firefighter "shout-out" to Whistler Rotary, Whistler Blackcomb (WB), Art De Jong, the Whistler Fire Rescue Service and the Whistler Professional Fire Fighters Association for making the BC Professional Fire Fighter's Survivor's Burn Camp so welcomed and at home during their day out in Whistler on July 18.

This remarkable group of young burn survivors demonstrate incredible strength and determination as they follow their individual paths of recovery and success as they emerge from often serious burn injuries.

The campers spent the week in Squamish doing activities that every kid should get the chance to enjoy. For some of these amazing kids, this is their first time at camp as they move toward a return to regular kid stuff and a more normal lifestyle.

WB provided free run of the mountain, Whistler's firefighters opened up their "house" to the kids and Rotary hosted an ice-cream party for upwards of 100 campers, firefighters, nurses and support staff at Fire Hall #1.

These kids' strength, and the joy and love on display was truly inspiring.

Thank you, Whistler!

Brian Buchholz
BC Professional Burn Fund, Whistler Chair

Take your own containers

Bring your own mug, bring your own bag, and even how about bringing your own container?

For the last few years, I have increasingly been creative in making my life as low waste as possible.

It may seem crazy at first, but I bring my own food storage containers with me to restaurants to pack up any leftovers. This has been met with a full range of reactions, from disgust and embarrassment from friends at my table, to intrigue and surprise.

Thankfully, I also often receive compliments on what a good idea it is. It may seem socially strange or hard to remember, but not so long ago, so was remembering a reusable bag when you were heading out for groceries.

If I am heading to the local bakery, I will bring a container (or rather a whole baking tray, most often) to fill with goodies.

Again, this has been met with interest and often praise, but also questions about hygiene.

I understand the concern, but bringing your own mug to cafés is encouraged, and I fail to see a big difference.  I implore you to try to remember to bring your own container for takeaways, or, stick your fresh loaf of bread in your clean reusable bag. Maybe we can start a movement.  

Rose LaRiviere

Double standard on conservation

The most important word in green (environmentally responsible) living is conserve

Thus, I find it both perplexing and disturbing to see ads for Whistler's Water Wise program promoting water conservation while proposals for replacement of the existing 100 gallon electric water heater in owner District Energy System (DES) units in Cheakamus Crossing suggest continuing with the present heat-pump, hot-water-heating arrangement with a minimum size tank of 60 gallons or replacing the existing 100-gallon electric hot-water heater with a minimum 50-gallon tank and heating water with the electric elements while stating that this option "assumes clothes washing in cold water and careful use of hot water."

Isn't "careful use of water" what Whistler's Water Wise program is supposed to be promoting? The recommendations on water heaters appear to imply that conserving water is a hardship to be avoided.

Wasn't conservation the whole idea behind the Green Olympics? 

In the 1970s, I was a spokesperson for a high-profile environmental association based out of UBC whose directors were all faculty members. I regularly spoke to various associations about conserving water and energy and discouraging the growing trend toward disposable plastics that did not degrade. 

I have long been a strong advocate of conservation and remain so today. For my first 23 years in Whistler, a single 30-gallon electric water heater was more than adequate to serve our hot water needs. This remains true today. So I find it disingenuous that the powers that be are suggesting larger hot-water heaters than are necessary with easily achievable, reasonable conservation measures while simultaneously urging Whistlerites to conserve water.

To conserve, or not to conserve, that is the question. What say you mayor and council?

David MacPhail

An inspirational event

Thank you Ironman Canada for bringing your amazing event to Whistler.

It is my favourite day to live in this town. From the incredible athletes, like Jodi Carter, Jenny Segger, Mark Gershon and Anisa Mori, to the tireless volunteers, like Dave Clark, Julie Smith and Christine Suter, to the always-positive race director Christine Cogger, the town shines.

Our children are inspired to do great things as they witness a full day of grit and determination.

I am thrilled that the event will be here for three more years. Everywhere I looked on Sunday, July 30, I saw smiling faces of athletes who reached their dreams, and the overflowing energy of the spectators who helped them get there.

Who knows, maybe next year it's my turn to try it out?

Jen Black

Get rid of pay parking in lots 4 and 5

I really found Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden's recent self-congratulatory comments as to how well the free buses, people leaving their cars at home and the paid parking in lots 4 and 5 were working, hard to take.

While there may be more people taking the free buses, they are certainly not leaving their cars at home! They are parking on any residential street within range of the village, just ask the Whistler Cay residents, just ask the White Gold residents whose streets are now permanently clogged with cars, as those who now park here and take the trails through Lost Lake to the village.

And, of course, the Montebello residents have a commercial-bus parking lot just metres from their patios.

I do have some empathy for those workers in the village who have to use their cars to come to work, and for whom paying fairly high parking rates is just another cost to them living in an expensive town.

However, I do not have any understanding as to why a commercial business (the buses) cannot pay a modest amount for day parking in a proper lot, a cost that would be easily factored into their cost of business.

Rather, it seems to me that the mayor and council are serving them above the feelings of residents (who pay pretty heavy property taxes).

The Valley Trail past the "bus lot" is now an unpleasant, dirty, smelly walk.

The buses idle to keep their drivers cool whilst they while away the hours. They eat and drink, leaving garbage all around. They smoke and toss butts wherever, and, why can drivers be seen casually walking out of the wetlands?

This whole area has become disgusting.

You cannot create a bus parking lot without toilet facilities.

Others have written of the environmental concerns, aesthetic concerns, safety concerns and more, all critical in my opinion, so just when is this "temporary" situation going to be resolved with the very simple action of removing pay parking from lots 4 and 5? 

The revenue generated from lots 4 and 5 cannot cover the extra signage, bylaw enforcement, the cost of that awful stuff now being sprayed on the gravel, (just what is it?), to say nothing of environmental damage, safety issues and the ill will generated from tax-paying residents.

The irony of this whole thing is not lost that this mayor and council were originally elected on the promise of eliminating pay parking!

Some do remember.

Lynn Hill

Whistler Museum LEGO competition thanks

The Whistler Museum's 21st Annual LEGO Building Competition has finished for 2017!

We would like to thank each of the generous donors for helping provide prizes and goody bags for all the participating children.

Without Armchair Books, Whoola Toys, Cows Ice Cream, Escape! Whistler, Marketplace IGA, Meadow Park Sports Centre, Purebread, The Great Glass Elevator, Avalanche Pizza, and The Old Spaghetti Factory, this event would not have been possible.

We would also like to thank all of the children, parents and grandparents who attended the competition to make for such a fun event!

Sierra Wells
Programs coordinator, Whistler Museum

Bike ride events are blockades

Bicycle riding en masse that blocks the highway is a gross inconvenience even with a Grand Fondling of Feeling.

Arrangers of these blockades know it is wrong, as do governments that allow it, both civic and provincial, as does anyone who lives and drives along the blockaded route.The highway though Squamish and further north was deliberately built for motor vehicles and not for bicycles.

Though everyone knows how disturbing and certainly unnecessary the coopting of the road for the sake of a bike ride is, they offensively do it anyway.

A recent example of road misuse was a blockade at Whistler and Pemberton preventing the morning bus to Vancouver scheduled at Squamish for 11 a.m. People who had prepaid tickets were left standing at the depot in Squamish.The next bus going south was now to be 2 p.m., and it was full and could pick up no one.The Greyhound bus company has long given up what used to be a guarantee of a seat and would run an extra bus if needed. All of this was known by Greyhound, which had sold the tickets for that specific time of day a week earlier.

It should be noted that (many) people in Pemberton and Whistler did not want the disturbance, but it was done anyway.These bike rides have no benefit to anyone. Governments need to stop disturbing normal traffic.

It is just a bike ride.

Terry Smith

A dragon boat full of thanks

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the companies and individuals who supported me getting to Divonne-les-Bains, France to compete with Team Canada at the 13th IDBF World Nations Dragon Boat Championships.

A huge thank you to the Pemberton Valley Utilities and Services Committee (PVUS), Pemberton Medical Clinic Inc., PV Supermarket, The Meadows at Pemberton and The Black Squirrel, The Pony, Big Sky Golf, Pemberton Off Road Rebels, Mile One Eating House, Ola Smazynski of Flock Events, AG Foods, George Ferriera, Casey Jackson, Pemberton Canoe Association (and my teammates who took hits from water balloons), as well as the many people who came out to support my Canada Day weekend fundraisers, and of course Hugh Fisher, Karen Tomlinson and my family. There were eight countries we competed against: France, Germany, Australia, Hungary, Ukraine, Italy, Great Britain and Spain.

We were victorious, winning gold, silver and bronze medals and bringing the World Nations Junior Championship trophy home to Canada to honour all of you who helped us get there. It was an amazing and unforgettable experience! Thank you all.

Kolton Goochey

Bus Parking

The last time I looked, Whistler was a tourism-based town, so why in the world is Whistler doing everything it can to discourage tourists from coming? Not sure what I mean? How about the fact that there is nowhere left to park a bus. I worked with the RMOW five years ago when the lots got paved to help establish a bus-parking zone since we bring thousands of people a day during peak seasons and hundreds a day otherwise. Yet now it's gone. Sorry, this is asinine.

The small corner of lot 4 was where it was prior to the Olympics, and has worked fine for the past few years. It was far enough away in the lots, but still in the lots that it was convenient. There are dozens of companies that use driver guides who now have nowhere to continue their tours with the clients that are spending MILLIONS employing the locals. The little extra space that has been saved for parking nowhere NEAR equals the amount of space for personal vehicles.

Let's say a single 56 passenger bus takes up a 15-metre-by-four-metre space. That fits all of three cars. Three, even at the an average of five people per car, only fits a quarter of the total of the bus.

Feel free to call yourselves progressive and environmentally friendly, but the more personal vehicles you put in those places the less you will be. Now you're going to get buses parking all over the place, or, just constantly circling and putting out more fumes. Good job.

Matt Paugh


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