Letters to the editor for the week of June 4th 

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MIKE CRANE / TOURISM WHISTLER - Road biking on the scenic Sea to Sky Highway.
  • Photo by Mike Crane / Tourism Whistler
  • Road biking on the scenic Sea to Sky Highway.

Cyclists and drivers need mutual respect

It is with great expectation I am sharing these thoughts with all users of our roads, and in particular drivers and cyclists transiting Highway 99.

Whistler prides itself on being a very active cycling community promoting special events such as, Bike to Work Week, Ironman Canada, Whistler Cycling Club rides, The Whistler GranFondo, Cops For Cancer and WORCA events when participants need to travel to and from the venue via the "99" just to name a few of the more formal cycling events. However, the greater use of "99's" cycle usage in Whistler is the everyday bike commuter, and road and triathlon riders in training. 

I submit that the drivers and cyclists should, and can, be better served with respect to safely driving and riding on "The 99" by:

A) Repainting all of the nearly obliterated bike lane bike symbols early in the riding season. These symbols are obvious reminders to cyclists that bikes are expected to utilize this lane; however, motor vehicle operators are often disadvantaged with respect to seeing the horizontally positioned bike symbols in this designated lane.

Motorists are conditioned to look for information at eye level or above — i.e. speed limits, or upcoming turn signs or the big flashing overhead sign when leaving Whistler (what a great opportunity to indicate to all users of the "99" to expect to see cyclists, not just motorcycles, on the route. Ditto when leaving Squamish heading north), or horizontal directions painted on the road way on the lane they are in.

B) Incorporate, attached bike symbols on permanent existing signage that will remain in place year round, as a reminder that "you are in cycling territory" thus enhancing, not replacing, the annual — often late — repainting of the winter defaced bike symbols. After all, it is done to remind drivers as to the likelihood of seeing bears roadside on the "99."

It takes a cooperative effort to enhance bike and motorist safety on the "99" — all roads for that matter — and it will take a collaborative effort between the RMOW and the Ministry of Transportation to improve road safety at all times, and not having to wait for the annual paint schedule to roll around to remind drivers and cyclists to drive and ride responsibly. We all know how early the riding season got underway this spring.

For full disclosure, I am both a motorist and cyclist with great mutual respect for the other. Should I just hold my breath, or go on harbouring "great expectations!"

Tom Thomson


Barriers will save cyclist's lives

I lost a friend to my community, and a good family man, May 31 to a horrific accident on the highway.

His three children and wife are left behind wondering what or why this happened.

My first reaction was sadness for his family then anger at the (Minister of Transportation) who thought it would be a good idea to allow bicycles on the 100km/h Sea to Sky highway.

As a professional driver I'm always worried one of them will swerve, or blow a tire, and fall into my lane of traffic. Or the same thing could happen to me — I blow a front tire or lose a hubcap killing the cyclist.

There should be a barrier on the highway protecting those who brave the dangerous few metres that they have to ride on beside fast moving cars, trucks and buses.

As long as there are cars and booze people are going to drink and drive. (This is) just another tragedy that could have been prevented — at least we can put a cement barrier in between cyclists and drivers, so as to alleviate any more senseless deaths.

Michael Deschenes


BOOMing thanks

On behalf of the board and all of the volunteers of The Point Artist Run Centre, we would like to thank the people and businesses that donated to our annual fundraiser "BOOM" at The Point, which is the former youth hostel site on Alta Lake. 

This event has become a not-to-be-missed local, cultural, food, storytelling and dancing to live jazz music evening!  A huge thank you goes out to Denise Hughes who prepared our delicious dinner and to Doc Fingers, Lauri Lyester, Simon Stribling and Rajan Das who entertained us.

A big shout out and thank you for donations goes to: Whistler Eye Clinic, Creekside Dental, Whistler Bungee, Bea Gonzales, Kathleen Tennock, Christina Nick, Hugh Kearney, DUBS, Cleaning from Kate, Beacon Pub and Eatery, Caramba Restaurant, Quattro Restaurant, Fairmont Chateau Golf Club, Kier Fine Jewellery, Vincent Massey Pottery, Lisa Geddes, Shelagh Thiessen, Michael Faiella, Linda Epp, Molli Reynolds, Amos & Andes, Dubh Linn Gate Pub, Helly Hansen, The Keg, La Bocca, Gibbons Hospitality Group, Armchair Books, Whistler FotoSource, Aphrodite's Organic Café & Pie Shop, Whistler Roasting Company, Teppan Village, Whistler Blackcomb, Hy's Steakhouse, Nicklaus North Golf Club, Canadian Wilderness Adventures, Ziptrek, The Old Spaghetti Factory, Sachi Sushi, Wildwood Restaurant, and Snowflake.

And a special shout-out to our ongoing sponsors Nesters Market and the Whistler Brewing Company.

The Point is now becoming one of the iconic, local, cultural institutions that is bringing together artists and art lovers in an outstanding lakeside community venue. We look forward to seeing you at Saturdays at The Point beginning on July 4!

For upcoming events and information on The Point, please visit our web site www.thepointartists.com

Vincent Massey


Keep to the facts

For those who have been following the crusade of Eoin Finn, as he works to prevent Woodfibre LNG from building a liquefied natural gas export facility on Howe Sound, it should be made clear that some of the facts presented by Mr. Finn are not facts at all.

He claimed that LNG carriers visiting Howe Sound would anchor in English Bay. In fact, the ships will come from international waters, park at Woodfibre for 24 hours then head straight back to international waters with a full load of LNG. There won't be any other stops for these carriers.

Marine experts quickly shut down his tirade in the press about LNG carriers taking on bunker fuel in Vancouver Harbour by pointing out the carriers run on natural gas. They also took time to question his credentials, which appear lacking overall, in regards to refuelling procedures.

In his presentations, Mr. Finn shows a video from China that reportedly demonstrates what happens when a truck pulling an LNG tank explodes. Experts who have seen the video agree that, in fact, this is a propane explosion and this has been pointed out to him.

Studies (by real scientists) indicate the wake created by the ships will not generate rogue waves six feet (1.8 metres) in height, as once claimed by Mr. Finn.

This is a short list of just three issues distorted and misconstrued by Mr. Finn.

I, among many others, am growing a bit weary of all these performances. Being somewhat Irish myself I now know that the initials B.S. stand for Blarney Stone, upon which it seems Mr. Finn has bestowed too much affection.

Michael Lyons


Bill C-51 may be the answer

I go away on a trip for two weeks and when I return I get to read about all the violence and a killing on the Victoria Day.

Our mayor and council and we, the people of Whistler, do not need to worry about next year's Victoria Day violence. By that time the C-51, anti-terrorist/police state bill, will be law of the land. (Stephen) Harper will be sitting smugly with his win of the next election due to Justin (Trudeau), Tom (Mulcair) and (Elizabeth) May putting their party interest before the interest of the Canadian people to get rid of Harper.

One of the provisions of the bill designates as terrorism any activity that harms the economic interest of Canada. This was put in there mostly in the interest of oil and pipeline companies.

Since the economic success of tourism in Whistler is in the economic interest of Canada, this can be used by RCMP or CSIS to legally and preventively put in jail anybody coming to Whistler that they may suspect is not going to behave as an upstanding citizen during the holiday. Problem solved!

Since in the past I have expressed my not-too-great admiration for the Whistler tourism and business model — I think that Whistler has many good things but is falling extremely short of its potential — I am using this opportunity before Bill C-51 passes to write my last comments on that subject. After that you, dear editor, and I could be declared terrorists for writing and publishing anything negatively about Whistler which can affect tourism, i.e. economic interest of Canada.

As a Whistler resident for eight years, I completely support a new ski resort near Squamish. Monopolies are bad — competition is good. Not maybe good for Whistler, but good for B.C., and Canada and skiers.

Whistler needs a good " kick in the butt" to change its warped monopolistic model, which can best be characterized as a sclerotic snobbism.

Drago Arh


Election ads are here

I recently saw the first negative commercial in the coming avalanche of election entertainment — apparently Justin Trudeau is just not ready yet.

The message I understand is, finally P.M.S. Harper has paid for an ad. Hooray!!!

While in power Mr. (Stephen) Harper has spent the better part of a billion dollars of taxpayers' money promoting his views about what Canada should be: enrol in the army, we will support veterans, we make it easy for you to pay your taxes, check the expiration date on your child's car seat, let's remember the 150th anniversary of the founding fathers on year 147, beware of the scourges of marijuana use, prescription drug abuse, bullying, cyber-bullying...

It seems somewhat ironic that what Mr. Harper is willing to pay for out of his own pocket could be considered bullying, or even cyber-bullying. Any parent knows that a policy of ''do as I say, not as I do'' is no way to gain trust and respect from their children.

Canadians will vote for the party they most trust and respect in the coming election and Mr. Harper isn't doing himself any favours.        

Rob Neaga


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