Letters to the Editor for the week of August 23 

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Passenger rail would curb GHG

With the revelation that Whistler's GHG emissions continue to increase, and that vehicles make up the lion's share of those emissions, I can't help but wonder if the RMOW should consider seconding Lillooet's call for passenger rail service to Vancouver. Any service between Lillooet and North Vancouver would run through Whistler anyways, and regular, affordable, alternatives could help take cars off the road.

Matthew Chasmar
West Vancouver

Disrespectful behaviour not welcome

Every year, the buzz from Crankworx always has a way of pulling this love-hate relationship cover over my eyes. You get to see some of the best and worst that Whistler has to offer—and by worst, you really see some true colours of some of Whistler's "finest."

On Wednesday, Aug. 15, Olympic Plaza hosted the Deep Summer Photo Challenge. The evening before that was the Dirt Diaries. Both events draw in so much talent and artistic exposure, it truly isn't about just photography or showcasing the best clip. Underneath it all, it really exposes some of the bonds, friendships and the lengths people go through to get the results they do.

This year, I felt that there was a sense of togetherness in a way that would seem like it wasn't all about the mountain biking. For example, there was a stunning submission called "Mother Earth" that really encompassed the beauty of our land, the connection with nature and First Nations, as well as its protection of the land itself. It only seemed natural to have the Lil'wat Nation singers open the show for the Deep Summer Photo Challenge.

I could not believe the actions of the gentleman near us when the male singer opened the show and sang alongside his sister to welcome everyone to our town. Much to my family's surprise, a local gentleman decided to take it upon himself to mock, make crude jokes and completely trash the presentation of the song that opened the show.

He also took it upon himself to comment throughout the whole opening that was in their native tongue.

You sir, are this generation's problem. You're not funny, you're awkward and apparently seem to only have confidence when you mock others. You are a bully. Saying things like, "Am I drunk or is he drunk. I can't understand what he's saying," or, "What does this have to do with anything?"

Laughing and poking fun at the song they were singing is so disrespectful! Kids were around you, fellow locals, and travellers from afar. This is not the precedent you should be setting for acceptable behaviour.

As a local—and I know this because I knew some of the people in your group well enough to know you're living in Whistler—you should be ashamed of yourself. The audacity you had to talk and joke throughout the whole song, a song about welcoming people to our town, was so far from the message they were sending—we were all literally asking ourselves, "Is this really happening?"

Sure, I had no idea what was being said either; however, they explained it at the beginning of the show! Your ego must have plugged your ears and covered your eyes.

Having this opening as a part of both events is a huge step in integrating all the historic culture that Whistler has! The last thing that you should be doing is making fun of cultural diversity. Come on, man!

"Mother Earth" had a different plan for you, my friend. We could have all applauded the events that unfolded afterwards. We couldn't believe it: before I could turn to you and tell you to shut it, a couple of cops decided to rain on your parade and confiscate the alcohol you brought in to the show.

We could have all shook their hands; you deserved it and we were all actually hoping that the cop would take you aside when you couldn't present your ID. We were disappointed when you decided to comply. There's no need for any of your negativity around here.

It wasn't at all surprising how you spoke with the cop. He's just doing his job and you decided to pop your own balloon, buddy. The ticket you received should have served more than just you being upset about your free cooler bag being taken away—more than just your beloved alcohol being taken away.

Karma had its own path for you, and it should serve as a pathway to break away from your actions and be a better person, be a better role model. Your actions actually managed to overpower your words.

Play stupid games, get stupid prizes.

Catrina Baksina

Block party fun

Whistler Creek Court held its first annual Community Party on Aug. 18. A big thanks to the Whistler Centre for Sustainability's Resilient Streets funding for making it possible, and enabling us to hang out with our neighbours listening to live music, while indulging in delicious food.

Many people came together to plan this event and make it a reality. A big shout out to Whistler's Papa Josh, and DJs Steve Kretowicz and Ben Keating for keeping the tunes flowing all afternoon.

A huge appreciation for our local sponsors: the Scandinave Spa, Creekbread, the Brewhouse, Black Ohm Tattoos, Brooke Weber Samurai Sushi, Creekside Market and Southside Diner. You made the community day that much better! Proceeds from our silent auction helped raise $250 for the Howe Sound Women's Centre.

Great dance performance by our local dancers Amelie, Sacchi, Maddie and Megumi, and Harlem Globetrotter extravaganza performance (and garbage clean-up) by Jathum, Idris, Abdel and Phoenix.

Our hearts and stomachs want to send a big appreciation to the neighbours who prepared the amazing food: Francis, Ami, Madiha, Shanti, Izzy, Sabra, Pez and Brooke.

We are hoping this becomes an annual event!

Sharada Clayton, PIna Belperio and Melissa Messier
Organizers of Whistler Creek Court Block Party

Citizens must act

I am not surprised to learn that Whistler, like the rest of the world, is nowhere near its target of greenhouse gas emissions, largely attributable to motor vehicle emissions.

The consequence of these rising emissions is climate change. One of the thousands of negative consequences of climate change is the massive forest fires we have experienced the past three summers, likely the new normal for B.C.

Back in 1988, scientists first sounded the alarm regarding hydrocarbon combustion's potential to cause runaway global warming. That is when I decided to quit driving. I invite fellow citizens to make personal commitments to reduce their consumption of fossil fuel, perhaps starting with the objective of one less car trip per day.   

Thomas DeMarco

No excuse for cigarette butt litter

In response to Joel Barde's recent article on smoking, I am delighted that Whistler Blackcomb has taken the position to ban smoking on its properties—and there is no excuse for any smoker, anywhere, at any time to drop or throw a cigarette butt in the outdoors. 

Whether one chooses to drink, eat or smoke in the outdoors, each of us has a responsibility to put his/her garbage in a proper container. If that means that a smoker has to carry his/her own metal container (at their expense) then that's what should be done. No exceptions. No excuses. It's that simple.

Judi Spence     

Big thanks from the museum

The Whistler Museum would like to thank all the amazing kids and their families who turned out for the 22nd Annual LEGO Competition last Saturday. There were so many amazing LEGO creations—it was hard to pick a winner!

This event wouldn't have been possible without the generous help of our sponsors: Armchair Books, COWS, Ziptrek, Escape Whistler, IGA, Purebread, Old Spaghetti Factory, Great Glass Elevator, Whoola Toys, Hatley, Imagine Cinemas, Prior Snowboard and Skis, The Adventure Group, Blenz, Avalanche Pizza, Starbucks, and Lucia Gelato.

Thank you all for making this event special.

Olivia Brocklehurst

Fire concerns on Whistler Blackcomb

Everywhere in the news these days is Vail Resort's purchase of Whistler Blackcomb and the exciting $66 million being spent on lift operations and upgrades. I hope and trust, however, that they are aware they have also purchased a highly flammable tinderbox.

Did Vail educate themselves about the logging that took place in the '60s and how that has manifested itself into a major fire hazard today? Did they ski off either side of the Olympic run or the Peak to Creek and see how dangerously dense and thick those logged areas have become, forests so congested you can no longer ski through them?

We can thank the taxpayer-funded study initiated by the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), which identifies thousands of acres of high-risk forest within the valley, a significant portion of which is now under Vail's care, some of which is right up against the village and other high profile properties and neighborhoods.  

To the credit of the RMOW, they have committed funds resulting in firebreaks and thinning, started FireSmart programs, and are engaging stakeholders. For some, though, it's not such a priority. 

The harsh reality is that this fire danger is like a chain, and any weak link can fail the entire chain. Any positive efforts of the RMOW could be lost with a lack of effort on the part of another.

Vail is now a prominent link in that chain and would likely be one of the biggest losers if that chain should fail. Not only do they control much of this high-risk forest, but they continually cycle thousands of tourists through them every hour, at a time when B.C. has declared a state of emergency due to fires raging throughout our province. 

As a former pilot, I can attest it is now harder, if not impossible, to bring water bombers into Fitzsimmons Valley because of the zipline and the Peak 2 Peak—the smoke now makes it nearly impossible to fly in the valley. 

Is the reservoir in that valley capable of handling continual helicopter scooping? The main reason both recent fires in West Vancouver and on Green Lake were extinguished so quickly was their immediate proximity to lakes and scooping was easy.  

 I realize that in the event of a major fire, Vail Resorts would likely not feel the same extent of pain as the citizens and businesses of Whistler, as their business model of selling Epic Passes to customers all over the world means those skiers can simply choose to go to some other resort. The company would, however, be left to deal with negative backlash here if forests under their control, and the activity within, was the culprit. 

Speaking as a citizen and business owner in Whistler, I would be encouraged if Vail would let us know what their mitigation plan is regarding the high-risk forests in their care and what their thinning programs are. 

A ski run, after all, would be a perfect fire break if used and treated as such. 

Lance Bright

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