Letters to the Editor for the week of August 11th 

click to enlarge SHUTTERSTOCK PHOTO - NO RIBBING One letter writer is concerned about some change at the grocery store — and elsewhere.
  • Shutterstock photo
  • NO RIBBING One letter writer is concerned about some change at the grocery store — and elsewhere.

No more special sauce

Two weeks ago, I went into Nesters and finally asked what happened to the Maui-style ribs they've marinated for BBQ since, like, forever. "Oh, we can't sell those anymore," said the friendly meat department staffer whose identity I will protect. "We can't make our own sauces or marinades since being bought out by Buy Low."

Indeed. No more special sauces from Nesters. In short, the namesake that has been branded across the Lower Mainland as a boutique food palace for the urban wealthy can now no longer make the local flavours that made it famous.

What does this remind me of? Oh yes, recent news of the 100-per-cent hostile takeover — no sorry, strike that — total and complete sell-out by Whistler Blackcomb to giant Vail Resorts.

What else does it remind me of? The last season of Mad Men — no not the group therapy (though we all might need that) — but the selling out of the thing we love so as to save it. Which amounts to destroying it.

RIP, local tastes and flavours at Nesters. We get bagged corporate marinade. RIP, local control over our economic juggernaut, we'll get job cuts and unemployment now as primary and secondary services are shifted to America.

Plus the added bonus of what will undoubtedly be an unending stream of bad decisions that will eschew our local talents and flavours for the mild tastes of Middle America.

Congrats Whistler, you've sold yourselves out for tastelessness.

Tobias c. van Veen

Enough with the road closures

Another road closure up Pemberton Meadows Road?

Are you serious?

Why is that the only answer you people understand? I'm under the impression that yet another intrusive road closure is planned for the Slow Food Cycle up Pemberton Meadows Road, and the event won't happen if it's not in place.

Maybe it's time to stop it altogether then? One thing that never ceases to amaze me is that you can have the event and not enforce the helmet law, then why should we give you our road?

On the same note, why should I follow all the rules of the road when the very laws we have that pertain to both four- and two-wheel vehicles, aren't followed by most of those on two?

Whether you want to know it or not, they apply to you too. If you're on a crosswalk, you are not a pedestrian unless you get off your bike and walk it across and do not expect me to give you the right of way as you blow off all the stop signs. Got a death wish? Just keep it up — it'll catch up to you sooner or later and by your own doing.

There's nothing wrong with saying how you feel when something like this upsets you. Personally, I'd like to come and go out of my own home without somebody telling me that I can't, and I think there is a lot of local sentiment to that effect out there.

As I understand, you are supposed to have a good reason to justify holding people under lockdown. Certainly, a big party is no reason, nor is Ironman.

Rhonda Gilmore

Logging needs new plan

Have you noticed the constant stream of logging trucks thundering along Pemberton Meadows Road before heading south on Highway 99?

Squamish Mills Ltd. is logging possibly old-growth trees judging by their impressive girths and mature trees in the Meager Creek area. These trees are not being sent to mills in B.C. but shipped off as raw logs.

The sheer stupidity of logging and shipping unprocessed old growth and mature trees boggles the mind given how few jobs this supports and the vital role that these trees play in storing carbon and maintaining healthy ecosystems.

According to Statistics Canada, in B.C., one full-time, year-round job requires 1,312 cubic metres (almost 33 logging trucks) while each of those cubic metres contributes only $233 on average to the provincial economy.

Meanwhile in Ontario, the harvest of 292 cubic metres of wood (seven to eight logging trucks full) creates one full time job and, on average, each of those cubic metres brings in $839.

Even as raw-log prices have fallen by almost 50 per cent in the last 15 years, raw-log exports have tripled under the BC Liberals (BC Stats).

We must protect our old growth trees and watersheds. Please write to our MLA (Jordan.Sturdy.MLA@leg.bc.ca) and the Minister of Forests, Steve Thomson (flnr.minister@gov.bc.ca), demanding that logging practices be drastically revised to ensure logging is sustainable, raw-log exports are banned and value-added jobs are created.

Elections are coming, so wake up and listen up, voters and politicians!

Louise Taylor

Forestry supports my family

My name is Stirling Angus and I am a professional forestry consultant living and working in the Sea to Sky area.

I am responding to a letter written in The Question this week by Louise Taylor (and also published in this week's Pique). There is a high likelihood that the logging trucks she referred to in her letter were carrying logs that when sold help pay my salary and thereby support my family. There are many others like me whose livelihood is dependent on forestry and the sale of logs into the market. I respectfully disagree with the points she brings up in her letter.

Sea to Sky forestry companies are all "market loggers." That includes forestry companies, First Nations companies, community forests, woodlot licences and others.

Market loggers sell our logs into the competitive markets where our customers pay the going price for the log. Most, although admittedly not all, of the logs produced are offered to domestic buyers at domestic prices first. Simply put, if domestic buyers do not want the logs at domestic prices, then the logs can be exported. Export markets generally pay higher prices, which mean more revenue to pay wages, services, and taxes, as well as to build and maintain forest roads.

I would like to point out that there are lots of areas with old-growth forests in the Sea to Sky area. These include provincial parks, old-growth management areas, riparian reserves, wildlife habitat areas and other set asides.

Just designating an area as an old-growth reserve does not mean it will stay old growth forever due to risk of fires, insects and other natural disturbances. The irony is that is you want to be sure to have a 250-year-old forest 250 years from now, then you must start growing it today.

Forests are renewable and sustainable. They provide many complementary resources including recreation and timber. Banning old-growth logging and banning log exports would make logging less sustainable and would generate less revenue and benefits to people in Sea to Sky communities.

Stirling Angus, RPF

Donate to mental health

Over the past few years there has been an increasing awareness of the impact of mental health challenges on the wider community.

There is a stigma and discrimination for those affected by this illness, associated with an increased incidence of suicide and a 25-per-cent reduction in life expectancy. What is not so widely known is that the impact on youths from 13 to 18 years of age is much greater. 

Suicide is a leading cause of death in youth aged 13 to 18, affecting aboriginal youth four to five times more frequently. 

Fifty per cent of all mental-health disorders occur by the age of 14 while 60 per cent of youth with substance use disorders have a concurrent mental illness. 

There is increasing evidence that early intervention can prevent this from becoming a life-long illness.

To address this need Whistler Health Care Foundation has committed to financially support an exciting new initiative at Lions Gate Hospital. The goal is to build B.C.'s first-ever dedicated inpatient Youth Concurrent Disorders Unit in the HOpe Centre at LGH. 

• This new 10-bed unit will provide gold-standard mental health and addiction care for youth ages 13 to 18 from throughout the region. 

• The unit will be designed to meet the specific mental, physical, emotional and social needs of youth struggling with mental health or addiction challenges, and will feature a home-like design and spacious meeting, consulting and recreation rooms. 

• In addition to gold-standard psychiatric and medical care, each patient will have access to help from occupational therapists, physical therapists, teachers and social workers. 

• The average length of stay is expected to be 21 days, with a focus on ensuring quality continuity of care after they leave hospital and resume life at home, at school and in their community. 

Operational funding has been approved by the B.C. Government and the Unit is scheduled to open in April 2017, so it is vital that we raise funds now!

At our last board meeting the Whistler Health Care Foundation voted to donate $25,000 to this project, and subsequently local resident and advocate for mental health support, Andy Szocs has very generously decided to match the WHCF donation with an additional donation of $25,000. 

We are asking all residents of the corridor to support this worthy cause. 

Donations may be made in the Whistler Health Care Foundation collection box on the ground floor of the Whistler Healthcare Centre or on line at www.whistlerhealthcarefoundation.org

Please identify your donation as being designated to the Youth Mental Health Campaign.  

Thank you in advance for your anticipated support to this outstanding project. 

Paul Foster
Vice-Chairman, Whistler Health Care Foundation

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