Letters to the Editor for the week of December 3rd 

click to enlarge PHOTO BY GRAHAM WINSLET/COASTPHOTO.COM COURTESY OF WHISTLER BLACKCOMB
  • Photo by Graham Winslet/coastphoto.com courtesy of Whistler Blackcomb

Diversify Raven's Nest

I was gratified to read that Whistler Blackcomb (WB) is trying to improve the standard of on-mountain dining (Pique, Nov. 26).

Although WB does a good job on an industrial scale, the quality is sadly lacking when compared with top European resorts.

However, what has happened to the Raven's Nest is a travesty. Until last season, the Nest was one of my favourite places to eat on the mountain. Despite being situated right beside the Red Chair, it always seemed to be off the beaten track. The menu was both different and tastier compared with other sites on the mountain and the views from the deck were (and are) spectacular.

Now the menu is "Gardein," or go hungry. I enjoy vegetarian food, although admittedly more so in the summer than the winter.

I would like to have a choice between vegetarian and non-vegetarian items (at the Nest). Gardein may be vegan and "mostly" GMO free, but it is heavily processed with multiple additives beyond the soy base. I am at a loss how anyone could consider it the "healthy" option.

I hope WB reconsiders the menu choice at the Raven's Nest — at least have a mix of vegan and non-vegan food. Perhaps Chef (Wolfgang) Sterr could open his own stand-alone, "Gardein"-dominated restaurant elsewhere.

Ciaran Keogh
Vancouver/Whistler

Simple regulations are what's needed

I am writing regarding some issues with the proposal for the temporary use permit for home-based artist studios. After reading the report, many questions have arisen for me.

I attended a consultation meeting hosted by RMOW staff with other stakeholders in which we reviewed all the points being considered. For many of the points the consensus was that the current bylaws were sufficient in protecting the neighbourhoods from noise and nuisance.

We agreed it wasn't necessary to limit opening hours, parking etc. However these are limited in the report. Why would there be a limit to the number of customers at a time? My own income tax service, which I offer out of my home, has lots of client traffic in tax season and I have never had a complaint from a neighbour.

The fee proposed of $750 for the TUP is very high. Other businesses don't have to pay fees of this nature. Why would it be levied to artists who can least afford it?

I think the cost of a business license should suffice.

Isn't the production of art for showing and sale outside of the home currently legal?

For artists making a living from their art, most of their sales occur at shows and galleries outside of the home. What will be the criteria for sales that require a TUP? What about on-line sales? If I have friends over for dinner and one of them sees a painting on my wall that they want to buy, is it illegal for me to sell it to them?

The proposal limits eligibility to those artists who had existing studios prior to Nov 17, 2015. What about people who move to Whistler after this date? There may be artists who are practicing art currently but are not selling their work who might want to start selling.

For example, I have a studio in my home where I practice art but I don't consider it a business.

At some point in the future I may wish to start pursuing art as a business. How would I establish that I have had a studio that was not a business prior to November 17, 2015? At what point does an art practice turn into a business? At what point does a particular activity fall under this TUP?

Many of the rules in the report seem to be arbitrary and unnecessarily complicated. Why not keep it simple and work within the spirit of "open for business?"

The Home Occupation Regulations are short and sweet and easy to understand. Can we not make an equally simple set of regulations for Artists?

I appreciate the complexity in working with by-laws. Thank you for addressing this issue that will impact the livelihood of artists and enrich the cultural experience of residents and visitors alike.

Bea Gonzalez
Whistler

Remember to get your flu shot

As of Dec. 1, 2015, people who have not had a flu shot this season are asked to wear a mask when visiting provincial health-care facilities to help protect those at-risk of influenza. Provincial health-care facilities include hospitals; long-term care homes, public health units and outpatient clinics.

Each year, there are approximately 3,500 deaths from the flu and its complications in Canada. Hospitalized patients and seniors in residential care and assisted living are more vulnerable to influenza than healthy adults. People infected with the flu are highly contagious and can spread the virus for 24 hours before they even realize they are sick.

Visitors join all health authority employees, students, physicians, residents, contractors, vendors and volunteers in helping to protect those at risk by choosing to vaccinate or mask, as part of B.C.'s comprehensive influenza prevention strategy. Visitors will be asked to comply with this policy on the honour system.

The flu vaccine is free to people intending to visit a health-care facility and is available at public health clinics, physicians' offices, travel clinics and pharmacies. It is also free in B.C. for children between the ages of six months and five years, seniors 65 years and older, pregnant women and Aboriginal people, as well as individuals with chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems and their household contacts and caregivers.

As well, the nasal spray flu vaccine is provided free at public-health clinics and physicians' offices to children two to 17 years of age who are at risk of serious illness from influenza or who live with someone who is at risk.

While the best way for visitors to protect those in health-care facilities is to get vaccinated, masks will be available, free of charge, for those who have not been vaccinated.

The influenza vaccine is safe and effective at preventing illness when used in conjunction with other infection control practices, such as hand washing and remaining home when sick.

For more information about influenza and vaccination clinics, visit:

www.immunizebc.ca

Laura Heinze
B.C. Ministry of Health

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