Letters to the Editor for the week of July 21st 

click to enlarge SHUTTERSTOCK PHOTO - BIKE THEFT One letter writer fears his daughter's bike was stolen by Pemberton Music Festival.
  • Shutterstock photo
  • BIKE THEFT One letter writer fears his daughter's bike was stolen by Pemberton Music Festival.

'Lazy drunks' grab teen's bike

As far as I am concerned, Huka Entertainment, you can take the Pemberton Music Festival and shove it where the sun don't shine. Invite 45,000 people a day to a small town to party and then screw up the shuttle services, what happens? Lazy drunks grab my teenager's expensive bike from the house near the grounds so they don't have to walk. We were not the only ones in town who lost a bike this weekend. (The bike's cost of) $2500 doesn't grow on trees for most of us. I will never be able to replace that bike for her.

We only really hear about how great the festival is, how organized it is and how people are making lots of money — or, in the bad news cases, about violence, traffic and the overdoses.

What about the ton of garbage dumped on the streets and parking lots of our town, the public urination and showering in our lakes and rivers, or the needles left in our kids' water parks, or the obnoxious and rude behaviour while you meander drunkenly through our town at 4 a.m., etc.?

Peter Wortman

Enquiring minds want to know

I would like to know, as I am sure others do as well, whose idea was it to allow a mountain bike race to close the highway at Bayshores on the morning of Wednesday, July 13.

I know there are hundreds of bike trails that could have been used with no impact on the highway. Traffic was snarled in both directions. With Pemberton Music Festival traffic and the usual summer onslaught heading north, this just made for chaos. Then you have the large pulses of traffic heading south that were detained by the paving project between Whistler and Pemberton. This made turning onto Highway 99 out of any neighbourhood ridiculous. My half-hour trip south from my job site in Emerald to the building supplies in Function became the better part of an hour. Wait! That was the short side of the equation. It took nearly an hour-and-a-half to return north again. Traffic was backed up past the Lordco in Function Junction.

I had scheduled two meetings with suppliers from Vancouver that day and both were driving up. I saw no notification along the road in the days before that there was to be intermittent closures. One gave up as he was stuck down by the Callaghan turn off for more than 40 minutes. The other, who came up later, stuck it out in a line that was about an hour-and-a-half from the power-line hill to Emerald.

Just about everything this town depends on takes place in the southern reaches: Timely deliveries; waste removal; commercial and public-dump access. And general supplies and many services other than food, such as automotive, building supplies and hardware. Just about any other service you can think of is in Function or farther south. I could go on.

I think it is high time that those who control such things stop treating Highway 99 through Whistler as some secondary rural route that can be played with indiscriminately. It is the one and only main artery and when it is severed, the town goes into traffic spasms.

It is time to look at creating some alternative routes that can take traffic in emergencies and for events such as this bike race. I propose that the trail from Alta Lake Road to Function Junction that parallels the rail line be made passable to traffic. I can hear the groans already.

But make it with paving stones and make it two lanes wide. It would serve pedestrian and bicycle traffic most of the time, but in times of need, it is there. You could run the Ironman down there with little impact on the highway as the riders would pop out of Function onto the four-lane section. The bonus would be that they would get the "Paris to Roubaix" feeling of the Tour du France. Same idea for access from the bottom of Lorimer Road through the Emerald Forest to Alta Lake Road. Another elevated pedestrian walkway over the highway at the Alta Lake Road intersection would give event planners an alternative to the highway.

If we had these amenities available to alleviate pressure on our roads, it would only add to our so-called world-class resort.  I can tell from the words I heard in Function that day, the only world-class thing we achieved was to try and take the crown from Vancouver as the most congested city in North America.

I get it! We are a resort. We want these things, but not at the expense of degrading the experience of coming to our little piece of paradise.  

I have made Whistler my home for more than 30 years. It is only in the last year that I have started to wonder — because of the traffic congestion — whether we have lost what makes this place great and special. I hope not! We just have to get off our asses and make some real changes for the better, not just study the situation until it is too big to fix.  It is time to be proactive rather than reactive.

Keith Auchinachie

A few words of thanks

WAG wishes to recognize and express its gratitude to everyone who braved the weather and helped make our second annual WAG's Charity Challenge fundraiser a success.

Our special thanks to:

The Resort Municipality of Whistler for providing our beautiful location at Lost Lake Park.

Our financial sponsors: Dooshi Pet Supplies; Companion Herbals; Twin Trees Veterinary Clinic and Pet Boutique; Alpine Dogs; McCoo's Whistler; Churpi Durka and First Mate Pet Foods.

Prize donors: First Mate Pet Foods; Churpi Durka; The Adventure Group; Dr. Dobias Natural Healing; Whistler Bounce; Tanya De Leeuw Photography; Samurai Sushi; Loka Yoga; Katies Pet Care; The Grocery Store; Nesters Market and Dooshi Pet Supplies.

To our dedicated volunteers: WAG would not be able to run this fundraiser without you so thank you: Birte Jaschkowitz; Dora Patkos; Tracy McIntyre; Francesca Cole; Erna Gray; Jay Gray; Carol Milan; Alix Pierce and Ginny Heming.

To Carney's Waste Systems for promoting the safety our participants and volunteers by donating safety vests.

To all our participants and 'pledgers', thank you so much for supporting WAG!

And finally a huge congratulations to our winners!

Most money raised: First-place Ellie Lobb and second-place Denise Wood.

Most pledges collected: First-place Jeff Anderson and second-place Stephen Suckling.

Pre-registered draw prize: Kira Kirchner.

Volunteer draw prize: Ginny Heming.

WAG's Charity Challenge raised $3,475! Again, thank you so much to all who supported this fundraiser in one way or another. WAG would not be here without you!

See you next year!

Emily Suckling and Catherine Mazza
Whistler Animals Galore

don't scratch my car

I would like to have a moan about Marketplace. I'm getting sick and tired of having my car damaged by inconsiderate drivers or passengers — or just people walking between cars. It seems you are guaranteed a scratch just about every time you park there.

I've spoken to a few friends and they've had similar problems parking.

Three months ago I received a large dent on the wheel arch of my car and $400 later, it was as good as new. But nobody waited or left a note on my windscreen after the accident.

Then today I received two large scratches on the side of the car. What the hell is going on? If you can't park, don't drive.

My car is leased but I still like to take care of it.

Please respect my space.

Wendy Wheeler

'It's a funny old world...'

Like many others in Whistler and around the world, I was glued to the BBC from the start of the coverage of the British Referendum results, as the British decided whether or not to remain in the European Union (EU).

The early lead of those voting for Brexit continued inexorably to get bigger and bigger as the ballots were counted, finally exceeding over 1.3 million votes in favour of the U.K.'s departure from the EU.

The 52-per-cent versus 48-per-cent vote in favour of leaving the EU held as all remaining votes were counted, and the pollsters once again took a heavy hit to their reputation as shockwaves reverberated around the world.

The next morning, the BBC talking heads expressed their stunned disbelief, dismay, shock, etc., while the pound plunged to 30-year lows, dropping more than 11 per cent within a few hours as the results came in. 

As stock markets around the world opened the next day, trillions of dollars of value were erased, first in Asia where Japan's Nikkei 225 closed Friday down 7.92 per cent, following by plunging share values in Europe and London, while in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed on Friday down more than 600 points, and Moody's Investors Service lowered its outlook on the U.K.'s credit rating from steady to negative.

David Cameron, then Britain's Prime Minister, had waged a huge fight in his attempt to avoid what took place June 23, and in his brief comments outside No. 10 Downing Street early on June 24, he stated that he had advised the Queen of his decision to resign, and that he would not steer the ship of state into its next port.

Cameron may go down in history as the Prime Minister who made the greatest mistake in the last 1,000 years. He had announced the referendum in response to a small group of his fellow members of the Conservative Party who were not happy with the EU, and by doing so, he can arguably be held responsible for calling a referendum, which was not necessary and ultimately blew up in his face.

With some justification, I believe that Charles de Gaulle, former President of France, was right more than 43 years ago, when Britain finally managed to overcome his objections and joined the "Common Market," which morphed into the EU consisting of 28 member states prior to the British vote.

For years "Le Grand Charles" had objected to Britain's repeated attempts to join "the club," since he was convinced that the British were not "European." It now looks like he was right after all, since more than half of them have just rejected Europe and its march towards a "closer and closer union" involving what is referred to as the "European Idea."

Now that the British, or more correctly, the English and Welsh, have voted to leave Europe, the U.K., which also includes Scotland and Northern Ireland, has never been less united.

With Scotland voting heavily to remain in the EU in the vote, likely a second Scottish referendum in two years will result in separation from the U.K., as Scotland opts to remain in Europe.

It now appears that with a clear majority of British voters choosing to leave the EU, Britain has shot itself in the foot. Perhaps in both feet, as well as in various other appendages. This is not a reversible decision, as EU politicians and bureaucrats in Brussels stated emphatically on June 24: "leave means leave," and this decision is final and will be respected. Period. No arguments.

In order to prevent a similar step by other EU member countries, such as in France with an election scheduled within the next year, and where Marine Le Pen's National Front (FN) extreme right-wing party is ahead in the polls and is promising a referendum similar to that which has taken place in Britain, the negotiated terms of Britain's departure will likely be harsh, with significant penalties for leaving.

This is a real risk since there is significant anti-EU sentiment in other member states, notably in the Netherlands and Italy, where populist anti-EU politicians continue to gain support.

At the end of the treaty requirement to complete the terms of a divorce within two years, it is likely that British exports will face significant tariff barriers imposed by the world's largest and richest market, now composed of 27 member countries and a population of just under 500 million people, following Britain's departure.

A good example to consider is the automobile industry. Britain today no longer has any volume production of cars made by British-owned companies. 

In future, vehicles manufactured in the U.K. by foreign-owned companies will face tariffs when exported to EU countries, the major market for these vehicles. 

The Japanese-owned Nissan plant in England currently produces 500,000 vehicles per year, and this production will likely move to Scotland or Northern Ireland after these two components of the former United Kingdom likely vote to succeed from the former U.K. and join (or rejoin) the European Union. 

Morgan Stanley has already leaked information that it is likely that more than 2,000 of its London employees will move to either Dublin in the Republic of Ireland or to Frankfurt in Germany, both inside the EU.

This exodus may be repeated by the largest British banks, including Barclays, HSBC, RBS, and others, all of which have suffered share declines of more than 30 per cent on the London Stock Exchange in the first two trading days following the vote.

Foreign investment in British industry will dry up as "Little England," and its tiny sidekick (Wales), become a sideshow, which occupies a small island off the west coast of Europe.

The English and Welsh rumps of the former United Kingdom will have a domestic market that will be unable to attract investment by foreign companies interested in producing products which can be sold in the EU without tariffs imposed.

The U.K. junked its preferential "Commonwealth" trade relationships 43 years ago when it joined the European club, and its citizens have now voted to leave the largest and richest market in the world.

As Margaret Thatcher famously remarked on the steps of No. 10 Downing Street upon her return from a weekend conference in Paris during which she was dumped as PM by the Conservative Party caucus: "It's a funny old world... "

Like de Gaulle, she was right.

Doug Garnett

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