Letters to the Editor for the week of July 30th 

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Lack of cycling safety

Last Sunday morning (July 19) before the trails got too busy, my husband and I, (both seniors), were cycling along the Valley Trail from Alpine Meadows in time for the opening of the farmers' market.  

As I approached a blind corner, a cyclist came hurtling towards me in my lane. He couldn't pull back to his side. He was passing three cyclists on this blind corner.

A collision was inevitable, as were the numerous resultant injuries I sustained.

It seems that after years of safely enjoying all the wonderful trails in Whistler, cycling on them has become as hazardous as cycling on the roads. One takes their life in their hands because of other impatient, thoughtless and reckless riders. 

A big thank you to three complete strangers from Washington State  (the three cyclists who were being overtaken), the ambulance men and the staff at the Whistler Health Care Centre. 

Jan Rudd
West Vancouver/Whistler

Think big for Creekside

Finally! After two years of working in Whistler 2010 to 2012, and since then witnessing first hand the decline of Creekside, I can only say that more than a makeover is required to bring back real life into Whistler's first mountain base and original village.

Whistler should consider the possibility of inviting four independent proposals by very creative architects to provide visual architectural concepts that would transform the above ground parking area into a sculptural water park for families to enjoy using mountain run off water during the wet months (spring through fall) and converting that into an organic growing ice sculpture during freeze-up (winter), featuring special effects evening lighting for all seasons.

A very large functional aquatic art installation would draw people into Creekside because it is original and unique to Whistler and not available in the Whistler town centre or anywhere else.

Simply adding new retail stores will not do it!

Thinking big and thinking creatively is what is really needed to revive Whistler's Creekside. Adding an outdoor thermo contrasting water spa component to that art installation, I believe would also be very complimentary.

Take it away Whistler... make Creekside awesome!

Brian Becker
Lloydminster, Sask

Thank you Huka for an amazing festival

With the fear of the festival being cancelled due to the wildfires. Pemby Fest 2015 was one of the best festival experiences I have ever had.

So many friends had a great experience, and how could you not with the stunning Mt. Currie backdrop, and an amazing and diverse lineup that had every genre for all music lovers?

Personally, Tiesto, Duke Dumont, Paul Oakenfold and Jack Ü did it for me at Bass Camp with such amazing energy from festivalgoers, plus the production in that tent was mind blowing — I'm glad I had my earplugs. Haha... I must be getting older.

Sure the heat was annoying, and security could have been a bit more consistent at the gate, but the overall experience, from the smooth shuttle service to the friendly staff, to the security, to the "A team" for helping me out Saturday night was top notch.

And most of all the energy from the attendees who really came for their favourite band or DJ was amazing. It really was about the music and I cannot wait 'til next year to support our world-class music festival in Pemberton, B.C.

Doug Ryan

Aftermath of Pemberton Festival

As many of you know the Pemberton Music Festival finished up last weekend and by the looks of it the patrons had an extra great time cooling off on the Birkenhead River during the day.

Unfortunately they left a complete disaster in their wake and there is trash on every accessible bank of the river. In one short hour I picked up two heaping bags full of trash.

We found things like half-open tuna fish cans with rotting tuna, half-eaten melons thrown in the bushes, beer cans, lemonade cups, red cups, socks, used condoms, razors, shampoo bottles, cigarette butts, liquor bottles, broken glass, ice bags, and on top of everything quite a few Pemberton Music Festival brochures because you know that once they were done trashing the river they needed to get back to the festival and continue the party!

Now I love music festivals — I have attended a few myself over the years and even went to Pemberton Music Festival last year.

But everywhere I go, even if I am hungover, or drunk as hell, I pick up after myself, and I certainly would never show up to a beautiful riverbank and completely trash the place.

What is wrong with people today that they think that they can trash someone's home and then just bail for someone else to clean it up?

Not only is it an absolute horror to look at, with an assortment of trash swirling around in the back pools and the rotting food on the banks, but these things are bear attractants and have an impact on fish and wildlife habitats.

Cortney Brown, Trout Country Fishing Guides

Whistler Forest School launch and fundraiser thanks

The Whistler Forest School Society (WFS) would like to thank the many friends who came out to Creekbread on July 21 to celebrate the upcoming launch of our forest preschool program for children age three to five years old.

It was a great evening of fun, laughter, and little people dancing to the beautiful sounds of Trish Jamieson's voice. Congratulations to our prize package and 50/50 winners. Because of our amazing community's support we raised over $1,000 in seed funding!

The WFS is part of an expanding network of schools and programs that value time in nature as central to healthy childhood development. In this educational approach, nature acts as a key teacher as young bodies grow to develop a deep connection with themselves, others and the natural world. Program and registration information can be found at www.whistlerforestschool.com.

On behalf of the WFS founding families and Board of Directors, we give a huge thank you to Creekbread for hosting us, for making delicious pizza and for your amazing staff.

We'd also like to thank all our sponsors for their generous raffle prize donations: Squamish Lilwat Cultural Centre, The Fairmont Whistler, Sophie Collins and Simon Young, Cold Comforts, Whistler Blackcomb, Eddie Bauer, Whistler Bungee, Arc'teryx, Patagonia, Jo and Nathan Hawkins, Milkshaxs, Stonesedge Kitchen, The Adventure Group, Body Elements Whistler, The Beacon Pub, Jo Hawkins, Whistler Newborn Photography, Shoppers Drug Mart, Maison Cote, Goldstrike Honey, Nonna Pia's, Thomahawk Woodwork, Diana Foster, Arbonne, Tess Klein, Tara Findlay, Trish Jamieson, Christina Tottle, SUP Yoga Whistler, Todd Lawson, C4 Waterman, Scandinave Spa, Re:creation, The Oracle, Blink, Twig, Prints, Oladesign, Mally Design and The Crystal Lodge.

Jenn Scharf
Executive Director, Whistler Forest School Society

Need to elect cooperatives

There has been some talk about voting strategically in order to not get a Conservative austerity party elected. That might be OK if there was any reasonable way to organize it. The problem is to know what to do.

There is a segment of thought that it is OK for the conservative-minded to vote Liberal because it is only a little bit left wing, but it is not really, for they have no intention of making arrangements with anyone. I suppose there are degrees of right wingedness.

Since we do not have proportional representation and won't get it until we elect a party that will install it, voting Green will only split the vote even further than has already been done.

In fact one Green candidate is withdrawing from the race and publicly supporting the Liberal Party candidate, a not very different Conservative. It has long been evident that the Greens are also right wing as their Kelowna action now shows.

If we don't want to elect Conservatives we need to elect cooperatives, of which there is only the NDP. If the Greens really fundamentally believe in grassroots democracy, as they say; they would not be supporting the Liberal candidate who has avowed long-time conservative values.

It is not enough to say, "anyone but a Conservative" without including all conservatives, whatever they call themselves.

Terry Smith

It all starts out as water

What's the problem with Nestle not paying for water? How about beer, wine, soda, a cup of coffee or tea?

There's no difference, they all profit from selling water, only Nestle doesn't add anything to it.

As others have said: charging for water makes it a commodity, which under NAFTA, could then be shipped by Nestle to the USA and Mexico. Who really began this protest against, but really for, Nestle?

Nestle wants to buy and sell our water, but once a price is established and they pay more, we may eventually pay more too... bottled or not!

Gary Huntbatch

It's up to us to strategize

I keep reading and hearing people who "talk" of strategic voting and in the same breath, outright dismissing the Greens. How can dismissing any party be called strategic? How can "guessing" be called strategic? Strategic voting requires planning, facts and well — a strategy.

As a volunteer for the Leadnow, Vote Together Campaign, I urge those of you who really want to vote strategically to register with Vote Together at www.votetogether.ca.

Our riding has been moved up in status from "not considered a swing riding" to "a possible swing riding" because in the last Dogwood Initiative poll, the conservatives are neck and neck with the other parties and the Greens are up to nine per cent support.  

With more people registering their pledge to vote together, we will have a more accurate assessment of who the strongest candidate really is and we (vote together pledgers) get to decide whom to vote for strategically.

Myra Graham

Give Greens a chance

Let me start by reminding everyone that human-induced climate change is a reality of our present situation on Earth. The current Harper government has not been attending international climate action discussions and has been gutting our environmental protection laws (and the list goes on).

Many, or most, people agree that we need new leadership that respects the natural resources and values of Canada.

How do we do this? Though not ideal, it looks like organized strategic voting is our best option. A non-partisan organization called Leadnow has formed to help us vote together to get the Harper government out and start creating the future we want.  To join in, you can sign up and pledge to vote together at www.votetogether.ca

Which candidate will the polls show as having the best chance of beating the Conservatives and wining this riding?  It may not be the Greens, but why waste our energy by sending them negativity? Why not seriously listen to what they have to say? Hopefully the other candidates are also listening and having to "step up" their environmental platform.

And who knows, we may even discover that our values, at this moment in time, really connect with the Green Party's platform. Imagine, a Green MP in the Sea to Sky-West Van riding!

Why not hear him out until the polls are compiled? Giving Greens positive energy can only help get more information out to more people.

Many great leaders have demonstrated that we can get much further ahead by coming together and feeding the positive.

What I'm trying to say is please, just give Greens a chance! And when it comes time to vote, we can rely on unbiased, non-partisan information gathering and sharing.

This election has the potential to be a major tipping point in our history.  The question is, how do we want to be remembered by future generations? 

Nalini Binet

It's not about age, it's about passion

I think Whistler needs to figure out how to retain passionate, hard-working, creative types. I don't think the age of people in this town has much to do with anything.

The lack of passion from empowered people within this resort is despicable, and my heart is broken because of what I've experienced dealing with people in this town who consider themselves professionals yet lack the respect of what a community can create and offer. My experience comes from being a career musician attempting to find steady work in the resort, and as a general manager for several businesses in town.

When a musician is deciding that dealing with the uninspired, empowered management isn't worth their time, their effort, their passion, then maybe there's something wrong here.

As I said to one venue when I spoke up in front of an audience, that moment was me firing them and shouldn't be confused as anything else. I have the right to fire them, as much as they have the right to fire me. Why would I work with people who are uninspiring and don't care? Why would I care to try and be a part of a community that is uninspiring and doesn't care?

There's nothing wrong with wanting to build a successful business. The questions are who are we attracting to work and live in resort, and how are we able to retain any concept of longevity in this town?

The longer people stay, the more disgruntled they seem to get. Talk to anyone who's been here for 10-plus years, and they don't care to be in the village, they think the nightlife is a joke and they've had their hearts broken too because maybe they showed up bright eyed, ready to work within a community to nurture positives, but were also struck down by those above them, who only feel the need to fit into a cog. This town should be called Corporate Fest.  

Everyone must conform to the idea that we're living a dream, and there's no room for passion within that dream. Bottom line is king, and there's no room for anything else.  

The problem in my mind's eye isn't older people, or younger people, it's dispassionate people.

If we accept that we don't have to care, because the new crop will arrive in November to ensure our numbers continue to reach their goals, then why bother being passionate about anything more than locals' night at a club watching the same bands play 30 times a week.

I'm going to fade out of this town and no one will really understand what it is that I brought to this place. I don't matter to Whistler. That's fine; Whistler doesn't have to matter to me even though I had passionately decided it did for many years. I have become like all of those who this town has forgotten about as well.

I have met so many musical people who were jam night hosts, house bands, and prominent members of this music scene for decades who are treated as nobodies because the ebb and flow allowed them to be discarded.  A lot of them got fed up, turned to other interests while only doing music in a realm they care about.  

Whistler doesn't need older people to move on, as Max's article discussed ("Maxed Out," Pique, July 10). It needs those who lack passion, who lack creative inspiration to recognize those who do, empower them, support them, and love them because these are the people who bring the soul to our lives. These are the people who care to a degree that surpasses the average mindsets, and these are the people who need to be honoured and cared about.

If you can't accept these people maybe you need to move on.

The people who need to leave Whistler are the ones who aren't actually building the community from within, who don't care about others and view everyone as a blip in time, the expendable worker that'll be gone in a year or two.

There are plenty of us who've been here much longer, and plenty of us who are fed up with the lack of respect for our efforts. Many of us have been a part of the defining fabric of this world hub in our own way. When it comes to longevity, ability to live a life in a town that inspires us, we are at the mercy of things that are defined by ego, not effort, passion and intent. If we only empower those who have no passion, no intention to do measurable, great things with a town that is a mecca to world travellers, then what's the point of caring? Maybe this is why so many of us don't care?  

Monty Biggins


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