Letters to the editor for the week of February 6th 

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Smarten up!

To the drunk/high, and as a result, hypothermic male that passed out in the near-frozen river behind the Forest Park housing complex in Bayshores Sunday night: Know that you've been given a second chance at life.

Thanks to the quick-thinking reaction of an international student, who happened to be awake at 2 a.m. and heard you stumbling around his backyard, you are here today. Had he not called 911, your frozen body would have been recovered from that very same river.

As the temperature continues to drop let us be reminded of those who have made similar decisions as this male, but were not as lucky.  

If you can't look out for yourself by controlling what you put in your body, make sure you have friends that can, and that can get you home safely. Nobody wants to wake up to a lifelike frozen garden gnome in their backyard.

Use your head.

Kate Turner


A caring community

A hardy thank you to all for their assistance after my fainting spell at Alex Bunbury's memorial (Feb.2). 

Thanks especially to the Whistler fire fighters for their prompt reaction, the BC Ambulance Service members, the Whistler Health Centre nursing team, Dr. Annie G, David O and my friend Louise B for her patience and organizing Trudy's car return. 

I am so thankful to live in such a caring community

Peter Alder


Not a rezoning issue

On Tuesday, Jan. 28, I appeared before the acting mayor and council to ask for a resolution for them to support the view, on behalf of the citizens of Whistler, that Whistler Blackcomb should not be allowed to pave the timing flats and make a permanent car park two-thirds of the way across the world-famous Dave Murray downhill at the top of Nordic Drive.

I finished the presentation with a resolution that council could adopt, written by a former mayor, to make it known publicly that they thought it was wrong to pave the timing flats for environmental, social and safety reasons.

Acting mayor, Councillor Jack Crompton, said he could not pass a resolution before "due process," and having the issue studied by staff — and (he) mentioned the word "rezoning." I tried to explain that the Resort Municipality of Whistler legally has no say in this issue at all, and that it is the Ministry of Forests that decides whether Whistler Blackcomb can have a permanent car park on the timing flats, which they now have approved with conditions.

Crompton again stated his view of the process, and did not seem to understand that the resolution could have been approved at the council meeting right then if they had the political will to do so for the 10,000 plus citizens of Whistler. As none of the other councillors contradicted him, I presume they didn't understand either.

I was notified on Jan. 9, 2014 by the Ministry of Forests that it has approved the car park with conditions. It is a pity that the mayor, Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, was not present at Tuesday's meeting because she was also copied on the email sent to me by the Ministry of Forests.

The municipal website states, "Municipal Council represents the citizens of Whistler, providing community leadership by serving as the Legislative and policy making body of the Municipality." The council represents the people of Whistler, and could take the position that paving the Dave Murray Downhill for a car park is wrong.

In summary: the RMOW will not be consulted on this; there will not be a rezoning hearing, and there will not be a public hearing.

Philip Langridge

On behalf of the residents of The Ridge, at Taluswood


My name is Andrew Langridge, a graduate of Quest University in Squamish.

I volunteered on the Dave Murray Downhill run for the 2010 Olympics almost four years ago to the day.

I was also on the Whistler ski team for a year and treasure this run. It devastates me that this iconic run (may be turned) into a parking lot.

I was in the council chambers on Tuesday, Jan. 28 and witnessed my father trying to convince the councillors that they had no jurisdiction over the issue of permanently paving the world-famous Dave Murray Ski Run to park cars and trucks.

The councillors didn't get it!

They still insisted the project would require rezoning and apparently stated to the reporter, "We are not in the business of fettering future council decisions." The fact is, the council legally has nothing to do with this and, in fact, my father was notified by the Ministry of Forests via email, on Jan. 9, 2014 that the car park on the Dave Murray Downhill had been approved, with conditions. All he was asking for was the RMOW to step up and voice concern.

It appeared to me that the council members are scared to speak up against the elephant in the room for fear of getting squished. 

Andrew Langridge


Speed limits need review

(Editor's note: this letter was addressed to Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden and sent to Pique for publication as a letter.)

This afternoon, I had a conversation with Ian Tootill, one of the principles behind the organization SENSE BC. As you may know, this is the group lobbying to have some of the speed limits in B.C. raised to reflect current scientific data and public opinion. 

Its objective is to raise the limit to the speed currently and safely travelled by 85 per cent of the populace... regardless of the current laws.

There is a lot of strong science behind this. One compelling piece of actuarial science was used in the U.S. to have the speed limits raised from 55 mph to at least 70 mph after the "Oil Shock" of the '70s receded.

When the speed was dropped to 55 mph, the insurance industry noted a sharp increase in claims and, along with them, deaths. They commissioned a study that quickly concluded that the increase in claims had resulted from the proportionate increase in time (exposure to risk) that motorists were spending getting to their destinations. Statistical probability tells us that the more exposure that we have to risk, the more likely we are to succumb to that risk in some way. 

The insurance industry then presented its facts to Congress and succeeded in having the limits raised. You can guess what happened then.

It is ironic that on our wonderfully upgraded Sea to Sky Highway, the primary distraction for drivers is watching for police who will then ticket them for going what truly should be the speed limit.

This is an issue not only for those of us who live here, but also for our two million visitors who must truly be appalled by this legal crime.

Despite skepticism by some, the current B.C. government has chosen to undertake a review of our outdated speed laws and will hopefully see the reasoning behind this campaign. 

It is my hope that as Whistler's highly respected mayor, you will add your voice and influence to the campaign to bring change to this issue that is actually costing lives rather than saving them.

Please join the 85 per cent of drivers already driving at a safe (but currently illegal) speed and support SENSE BC in its campaign for positive change.

Ross D Smith


Let's commemorate B.C. ski jumping history

Following Pique's editorial (Jan. 30) on the nomination of the (Whistler Olympic Park's) Callaghan Valley Olympic ski jumping trestles as a National Training Centre, this letter will relate a bit of fascinating history about ski jumping in B.C.

Until the early 1960s when "speed skiing" took over the sport, ski jumping was a very dominant activity — both in participation and as a spectator sport. As such, I suggest a plaque be placed near the Olympic facility to tell a bit of this history.

You can refer to the Hollyburn Heritage Society Facebook page, and its story "Heroes of Harnessed Hickory" for this heritage-history of ski jumping in B.C. and Canada. Also, look to the society's book, Hollyburn, The Mountain & The City by Francis Mansbridge (Ronsdale Press).

Hollyburn is now the cross-country ski area, part of Cypress Mountain ski facility.

Here are a few tidbits:

• Tom Mobraaten — 1936 and 1948 Olympian — member Canadian Ski Hall of Fame;

• Mobraaten, along with Nordal Kaldahl and Henry Sotvedt were known as the "Three Musketeers" of ski jumping competitions — 1930s;

• Henry Sotvedt — after retirement from competition became a ski jumping consultant and was involved in coaching, judging and managing the Canadian team in the 1964 Olympics — also member Canadian SkiHF;

• Revelstoke's Nels Nelsen was the 1920s ski jumping champion; 

• Jack Roocroft — 1950 — Four-way North American ski championship and a spare for 1948 and 1952 Olympics. A few years ago Roocroft was still downhill skiing at Whistler;

• Rudolph Verne — skiing visionary and promoter — Ski jumping exhibition, Calgary 1923;

• Hollyburn known as "ski jumpers' mountain." In the 1940s- and '50s, all Vancouver ski areas had a ski jump. 

As 'tis said, "What goes around, comes around," or "Something old is new again."

Iola Knight

North Vancouver

Doggone shame

I felt a loss of something special last weekend when during our weekly stroll through the village after skiing, with our loyal friend Finn, we were asked not once, but twice, to leave CanSki.

Finn is one of many Vancouver dogs that faithfully commute each weekend up to Whistler.

The perks... an invigorating walk on the village stroll before the lifts open. Then a long day curled up waiting for the skiers to return. And then the highlight — a great walk through the village, a chance to say "hi" to other dogs, countless humans who miss their dogs at home, and the ultimate... hugs and pats from the Whistler staff at the various stores through the village.

One of our favourite spots has been ( a popular ski shop,) where Finn has felt welcomed his whole life... until this weekend.

Apparently its new supervisor has concluded that Whistler dogs, and Bogner ski suits, do not co-exist.

Fortunately, he is still welcome at Lululemon, and Skiis & Biikes!

Doug Brownridge

Whistler and West Vancouver

A fond farewell

The recent Pemberton Library's AGM (Jan. 22) marked the retirement of several of our trustees including Chair Marnie Simon.

Known for her diligence and commitment to volunteer serve, Marnie was a vital member of our board who helped set the course of the library for eight years. She saw the library through many transitions, and worked tirelessly to ensure we were moving in a positive direction. Marnie will be greatly missed.

Joining Marnie in leaving the board were Doug Helmer, Pat Mackenzie and Dennis Powell. We wish to thank all of these people for their time and effort in making our library the hub of the community.

We also wish to thank our newly elected board members — Adam Adams, Marc Cousineau, Tracy Graham and Monique Midgely for deciding to join us in helping create an exceptional library. They will join returning trustees Cindy Filipenko, Carolyn McBain, Karen Tomlinson and Margo Vaughn, whose contributions over the past year have been greatly appreciated.

And finally, we wish to express our gratitude to our Library Director Emma Gillis for all the work she does to support the trustees.

We look forward to another incredible year at the library.

Judith Walton

Chair of the PDPL Board

In last week's cover feature Pique (Jan. 30) misspelled the name of one of the long-time racers in the Peak to Valley, Rita Pollock — that's Pollock with an "o" not an "a." Pique regrets the error.

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