Letters to the Editor for the week of August 4th 

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO - DES PROBLEMS One letter writer details DES problems in Cheakamus Crossing.
  • File photo
  • DES PROBLEMS One letter writer details DES problems in Cheakamus Crossing.

DES August woes

Another Red Screen? But I just had my system flushed and "fixed" for $1,000 in March! It's August and my heat is switched off.

I apologize in advance if my tone sounds angry — it is more frustrated, really. I am upset that the municipality to which I pay taxes, to which I pay for an energy system that does not work, cares more about festivals and bringing more and more traffic to our sweet little town than the District Energy System (DES) users.

I am a resident of Cheakamus Crossing. I am the first owner of my home, and I have had our DES system maintained as the municipality said we must do. It's a bit vague to tell us to maintain the system, considering the manual came out nearly five-and-a-half years late. 

I find it interesting that council feels like the system is working fine and it is a great system. Clearly council members had heat in their homes this winter, so of course when these letters cross council member's desks, they just pass them on, as the DES system is a fine working system. 

Sorry, mayor, you probably don't have time to deal with we residents, as you are a busy lawyer pretending to care about our issues. I've worked with lawyers, I get it that you're busy. But guess what? We residents make this town run. We are the blood, sweat and tears that make this bubble not burst. Step up and be your residents' mayor, please.

Unfortunately, here in Cheakamus the bubble is freaking bursting. Families that can barely afford to cover their costs and clothe their children are hit with bills for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to maintain and fix a system the municipality put in for us? IT DOES NOT WORK! Clearly the message must not be getting through to you guys over there.

We paid $1,000 this winter for a flush. The guy from Western Tech told me himself this system was a wrong fit for the community. Regardless that it is now funding his retirement plan, he still said it's going to continually need attention, as the pH in our water is not right for it.

Please fix this! You now have an opportunity to make things right here. Take out these systems, or give us the option to opt out. 

Why should I be paying you for something that is always broken? I would not pay a phone bill if I had no phone.

Robin Jewers

Resort's success helps arts

It's always encouraging to see the arts discussed in our local papers, in this case by columnist Brandon Barrett (Pique, July 21, 2016).

Mr. Barrett suggests our local culture has suffered from the resort's success but Arts Whistler would argue that the resort's success has allowed Whistler's cultural community to flourish.

How many other communities of our size can boast of two iconic museums, free outdoor music concerts throughout the summer, free street entertainment featuring mostly local performers, a free Artwalk showcasing local artists, and affordable studio space?

Whistler's local arts scene is booming. The number of local artists registered with Arts Whistler's online gallery has more than doubled over the past five years, and a growing number are being shown in local galleries.

Mr. Barrett questions Arts Whistler's example of offering services to artists as a "Chamber of Commerce for the arts." But just as a Chamber of Commerce assists small businesses with a variety of services to help them succeed in a competitive environment, Arts Whistler is committed to providing the training, creative space and public visibility needed for artists to succeed in their careers.  

We applaud Mr. Barrett's call for the community to demonstrate there's a market for authentic cultural experiences, as they have done for the amateur comedy contest, the 72 Hour Filmmaker Showdown and other events that capture the spirit of our mountain culture. Do these competitions water down our local culture? No. Would they be as successful without Whistler's strong visitor base? Unlikely.

For all the challenges of living here presented by Mr. Barrett, there are enormous benefits. The Whistler arts and culture community continues to foster authentic and accessible cultural offerings and we invite both locals and visitors to dig deeper into the local arts scene. It's as exciting an adventure as anything you'll find on the mountains.

Maureen Douglas
Interim Executive Director
Arts Whistler

Bear facts

My wife and I have recently returned to the U.K. after yet another phenomenal visit to Whistler, which is currently our second home and will shortly be our first home when we immigrate next year.

One of our abiding memories of this trip was cycling up to the Green Lake lookout, which is a regular spot for us to admire the unbeatable scenery. On this occasion we were fortunate enough to literally run into (almost) a sow bear and her two cubs.

After the initial shock of passing within a few metres of them as they grazed just below the trail we backpedalled and admired them as they meandered over the rocks silhouetting themselves against Green Lake.

It was a Kodak moment; however, by the time I fumbled for my iPhone the moment was lost as they wandered off. The image was seared into our memories, however.

We were therefore devastated to learn that one of the cubs had lost its life during what appears to be a botched attempt to relocate them.

We understand the sow had fake charged a participant in the Ironman event, understandable if she was protecting her cubs but unacceptable if you are on the receiving end of the charge. This sad affair appears to be a result of the ongoing incursion of bears into human habitat, or is it the other way around?

I am no expert on Ursus Americanus, just a sad observer of a conflict that can only result in one winner.

Guy Darby
Midhurst, U.K.

A resident's solution

I am a longtime resident of Lakeside Road in Alta Vista.

My work often keeps me out of town during the summer months, but when I am at home, the early-morning routine always involves a quick pee/poo dog walk down the road to Lakeside Park. When the weather is cool and damp, the silence is broken only by the sound of the sprinklers and the honking of the fleeing geese.

It always makes me happy to see that a few of them have broken through the fence — they are not on my lawn! When the weather has been warm and sunny the crows are in control and are noisily cawing to protect their bits of leftover food and garbage.

My golden retriever knows that crows mean food and she systematically begins her grid search, going from picnic table to picnic table and then moves over to the overflowing bear-proof bins.

Yes, it's another garbage letter, but I have a solution.

The municipal parks staff finishes work long before sundown in the summer and I wouldn't want to see valuable tax dollars going towards overtime garbage pickup. It is also unreasonable to attempt a staff schedule that tries to predict when the parks will be busy.

Why not bring on a few capable neighbourhood volunteers who would work in conjunction with the muni to do a garbage pickup/removal at sundown?

In exchange they could be given a pass to the rec centre and/or the Lost Lake ski trails. They could even make some small change returning the empties, as I have not yet observed that the professional binners include the park in their rounds.

Anecdotally I have heard that confrontations with Lakeside drunks might be a concern, but given the appropriate personality in the job, it shouldn't be a problem.

I think that Whistler needs to put aside for a while the drive to always be bigger and better and to come up with some innovative solutions to the big-city problems that are gradually overtaking tiny town.

Jan Tindle

Take bold measures to get people out of cars

With nearly 60 per cent of all of its greenhouse gas emissions generated by passenger vehicles, Pique reporter Braden Dupuis correctly surmises that "if Whistler wants to get serious about climate change, it is going to have to get people out of their cars" (Pique, July 28). 

Yet the only proposal offered so far by the municipality is six free transit days, a pathetically feeble gesture of symbolic value only. 

What about a bigger carrot in the form of free transit everywhere in the valley, all of the time? And how about a big stick: no free parking anywhere any time. 

Whistler might be the only community in Canada where over 50 per cent of adults do not even own a car.

It is time that our mayor and council overcome their fear of driver backlash and summon the courage to implement these necessary measures to make our valley quieter, greener, healthier and safer. 

Dr. Thomas DeMarco

Local Artists share their creations

This past weekend art and garden lovers from Whistler to D'Arcy wandered the beautiful gardens and enjoyed the incredible vistas in the Pemberton and Birken valleys.

This two-day festival, offered by the Pemberton Arts and Culture Council provided a wonderful outdoor opportunity for the many participants to discover the wealth and variety of talented artists and gardeners our community nurtures.

The Saturday venues included: Karen Love Studio/garden; Susie Cipolla studio/garden; Linda Welsh garden and lunch stop; Debbie Shier garden extraordinaire; Icecap Organics and Krush Hops farm. Artists displaying their work included: Karen Love, Tanith Drenka, Jag Dhaliwal, Michelle Beks, Betty Mercer, Shane Allen, Ingalore Dwyer and Jay Kawatski.

A fashion show of local designs from the Allyna Jansen's One Earth Collection was a "surprise treat" during lunch. MC (and model) Anne Crowley introduced Tanya, Luke and Shyanne and talked about the local designers they featured.

The Sunday venues were located in the Birken area. The tour began at Our Glass Works where hosts Judy and Hugh Bourhis shared their glass art secrets and guests enjoyed the treats from the Birken House Bakery. Mute Raven Studio was the lunch stop — hosts Wim and Mary Jo Tewinkle. Guests toured the studio and Orchid house and wandered the farm setting. Artist Hiroka Takaya demonstrated her unique basket-weaving techniques.

The Eslake property in Owl Ridge was the next stop. Alpacas, horses and chickens shared the limelight with Gretchen Frith's "Many Shades of Grey" painting group, Barb Eslake fibre art and paintings and carver Ryan Scoular. Singer-guitarist Sheri Marie Ptolemy entertained us. 

Gernot Dick's studio in Walkerville was the final stop. This longtime artists/educator, founder of the Atlin Art Centre explained his amazing creative journey by describing and displaying his many creations.

On behalf of the Pemberton Arts & Culture Council (PACC) I would like to sincerely thank our generous sponsors — Pemberton Valley Supermarket, Rona, Pemberton Valley Nursery and supporters Robbie Stevens and the Pemberton Valley Seniors group, artists and hosts — PACC thanks you all.  The organizing skills and hard work of PACC members Anne Crowley, Judy Bourhis and Gretchen Frith were especially appreciated.

Finally, thank you to all who joined us to celebrate this first annual Art and Garden Festival.

Marnie Simon
President, Pemberton Arts and Culture Council

Thanks from the Pemberton Canoe Association

The Pemberton Canoe Association held its Paddle-a-thon and Open House on July 9.

The club would like to thank everyone that sponsored a paddler and donated money to this fundraising event. As well, the club would like to thank the Pemberton Valley Supermarket for its generous support and donation of food items for this event.

The club would also like to thank everyone that supported the five paddlers that went to the BC Summer Games in Abbotsford on July 21-24.

A special thank you to the Rotary Club of Pemberton for its generous donation towards travel expenses for these paddlers. The kids also held a raffle fundraiser to help subsidize their expenses, and would like to thank the following businesses that donated gift certificates for the raffle: Mile One, Barn Nork, Grimms Gourmet Deli, Centennial Café, Lynx Café, and The Pony.

The Pemberton Canoe Association greatly appreciates the support of these community groups and businesses for its young paddlers to aid them in training and competing.

Karen Tomlinson
Pemberton Canoe Association

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