Letters to the editor for the week of March 13th 

click to enlarge SIMPLY PHOTOS / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM - Letters To The Editor

Aiming for Olympics in 2018

I would like to thank my family, girlfriend, friends, co-workers, team mates, sponsors and local businesses for your support throughout my season.

Unfortunately, my goal of making the Olympics did not happen this year, but as I look back on my whirlwind season, I am so happy with what I have achieved. I was the next person in the whole of the combined freestyle sports who would have got a spot on the Olympic team, and I joined my team on a training camp in France as an alternate. 

I also made it to my first X Games and was honoured to compete at such a prestigious competition.

To sum it up my season has been a lot of "firsts" for me and I am very proud of what I have accomplished.

Looking to the future, the South Korea 2018 Olympics is definitely a part of it. My passion for my sport is burning stronger than ever, and I am excited for the next four years leading up to it.

I am so lucky to live in a community filled with so many amazing and supportive people. Thanks to you through your support through myPursu.it campaign, Bounce/Nesters fundraiser, and other local contributors my dream has become one step closer to becoming reality.

Next up on my agenda is a trip to Ontario for the Snow Crown competition, then off to France for two more competitions and finally home to compete on my home turf for the World Ski and Snowboard Festival.  

I want to finish this off by extending a huge congratulations to my teammates and fellow Canadians on their outstanding results in Sochi! It was amazing to watch, and see my friends doing what they love.

Once again thank you Whistler for the endless support!

Simon d'Artois


Internet should be essential service

This letter is addressed to Sea to Sky MP John Weston: I apologize in advance if this is the wrong forum to bring this up, yet I do feel it is appropriate as your government has previously pledged to make the Internet more competitive for all consumers by trying to allow more competition in the market.

With the recent sale of wavelengths failing to encourage more competition into the market, it did not take long for Telus to take this as a signal to raise their rates.

I am looking at my latest bill and Telus has already announced that they will be raising their Internet rates by more than 2.5 times the rate of inflation.

In every other market driven industry, from electronics, to cars, and content on the Internet the price over time has gone down.  Only in the communications sector are prices continuing to go up.

It is time the government stepped in and declared the Internet an essential service and regulated rates that are affordable for common citizens.

Peter Skeels


Creekside Market rocks!

During the past years I've come to love and know the Creekside Market and its friendly, local vibe.

Last Wednesday enforced this even more. While checking out I was yakking away on my cell phone while bagging my stuff and paying.

Back home I realized, that I forgot my lovely dark roast Sumatran coffee I just purchased.

"Serves me well," I thought, for being so rude as to jabber away while checking out. With little hope I went to the market the next morning and after sheepishly explaining to one of the employees what had happened, he produced my precious bag of coffee!

It would have been so easy for the cashier to just take it home for himself. Instead, he left word with management in the hope that I might come by and get it. Thank you so much, Tommy, for your honesty!! I promise, next time I will keep the stupid phone in my pocket.

Helene Steiner


A simple, far-sighted idea

Big oil and petroleum, fresh air and clean water, salmon and fish stalks, bears and wildlife, Highway 99: deaths, delays, closures, commuting and cost of maintenance, viability, competition, parking, Whistler's future, affordability, guest appeal and benefiting all who live and visit Sea to Sky country.

What one thing would have an incredibly positive impact on all these issues facing Whistler and its surrounding communities? L.R.T. — Light Rapid Transit — a train from Vancouver to Whistler (and/or Pemberton) and eventually beyond.

And I am not talking about something similar to the SkyTrain in Vancouver. That thing is huge, costly, slow, and requires whole roads and neighbourhoods to be moved or re-routed.

I am talking about a fast, electric, lightweight, low-cost rail system. Yes, they do exist.

Imagine departing YVR or a park-and-ride station in North Vancouver and for much less than the cost of a used 1990 econo-box (yes, you could easily buy a working car for what some families pay to get to Whistler from Vancouver). You would be safely and comfortably in Whistler faster than anyone could drive. And you would have done so in a light-railcar system that is friendly to the environment, easy on your pocket book and an absolute joy to experience. And then you'd go home and tell 10 friends about the amazing journey you had !

The transit systems I am referring to are cheap, simple, non-invasive, low impact, fast and safe. Think of a self-propelled roller coaster — a modern one not a wooden one. Here are just a few benefits:

• Safety: when was the last time you heard of a deadly Sky Train crash;

• Economy: relatively cheap to build, operate and ride.

• Environmentally awesome ( because "eco-friendly" would be an understatement): no fossil fuels, no dripping oil or chemicals, being raised up above the ground makes it safe for people and wildlife to pass under, etc.;

• Versatile and low impact: can be built over water, across bogs and meadows, through forests, over (or around) mountains and across streams and rivers.

And one of the best aspects with such a system... we would be working towards a better and brighter tomorrow instead of just complaining about the problems of today. With a little effort and foresight, we could have a transportation system that would be a benefit to all residents and visitors alike for many years to come.

Chris Watson


'Dear John' letter

Dear John (Weston Sea to Sky MP), thank you for your weekly, heart-warming, feel-good letters.

From what I read you congratulate the coast guard and the DFO on a prompt response to a diesel crisis in the Mamquam Blind Channel, but what you omit to say is that your government has reduced both their budgets, and as to the DFO they actually silence scientific evidence that runs contrary to the policies they oversee.

What your letter should have said is, "I am amazed that a same day response is possible, even with containment booms, I guess we can cut a little more here because it still works."

As to your letter about the fish farms, give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for life. Sell a man a fish because the fishery has vanished, tax him the rest of his life.

This week it's about Olympic athletes, (can hardly go wrong there). Rotary awards, (look at me, look at me). Shrinking the distance between "our" people and Ottawa's decision makers, (the distance between Ottawa and Vancouver is 3538.06 kilometres). As to the budget, it is the first one since you were elected to actually talk about balance, we will see. Prescription drug abuse? Why do you use the word prescription? Isn't all drug abuse a concern?

And finally, "the will to do, the soul to dare." I don't think you have the will to oppose your illustrious leader and I dare you to write feel-good letters about how the veterans are treated by your government, or how the senate scandal was handled, or how omnibus bills are tabled as "budgets," or how mandatory sentencing for minor marijuana arrests is a good thing, or how government money is spent on advertising how good things are now that we are developing the tar sands, or etc...

We as Canadians are a gullible lot, but maybe if you picked up some pom-poms and wore a T-shirt and skirt we might actually swallow what you are offering.

I look forward to your next positive injection.

Rob Neaga


Wacky Races!

I've wanted to put "pen to paper" for quite a while now, but kept putting it off thinking I was overreacting. However, what I have experienced in recent weeks made me realize I am not over reacting!

Simply put the Sea to Sky Highway turns into a frenzied race track every weekend — I am appalled at the lack of respect for other drivers, as well as the complete disregard for the speed limit and weather conditions.

I have been commuting from Whistler to Squamish a few days a week for quite a while, including on a weekend day, which is always the busiest. I'd like to think I am both a law-abiding and courteous driver, and feel I am in a position to offer my opinion of these drivers that appear to have no manners and are hell bent in getting to Whistler as fast as their vehicle can take them irrespective of the road conditions.  

I always abide by the speed limit, however, this is much to the annoyance of others — the road, as most people know, twists and turns, rises and falls with two lanes often merging into one.

I have almost been run off the road by an "out of town" driver desperate to pass before the lanes merge, I have watched drivers in Mini Coopers trying to get up the hill at the snow gates in Squamish during a snow storm obviously with no snow tires, as well as vehicles attempting to pass the snowplow thankfully to no avail.

I thought snow tires or chains were compulsory during this time of year! Really people have you no sense, have you no respect for your own life and the life of others?

Four years ago the Olympics left a wonderful legacy of a much-needed and improved Sea to Sky Highway, however, I question at what cost?

Sarah Babin


Nothing beneficial about farmed salmon

When a Norwegian research paediatrician went public with the news that women of child-bearing age risk the development of their babies brains when they eat farmed salmon, I began following the story. This was not the first time we heard this news.

In my blog Guide to Safe Salmon I have posted a three-minute film on what happens when you squeeze a piece of farmed salmon, and I list what is known about the health risks of eating farmed salmon.

On the navigation bar you can go directly to the translated newspaper articles from Norway and see what they are saying, how the politicians have responded, what Norway did to the scientists that first raised the warnings, how Norway has lobbied to increase toxins in farmed salmon. It is a scandal.

We urgently need to decide if we are going to continue to risk our wild salmon, and health just to allow Norway to grow more and more of their fish here in B.C. It is hard to find anything beneficial about salmon farming. The only benefit to B.C. is a few jobs. We could decide to focus on much more intelligent aquaculture, work with the wild salmon to restore them and have twice as many jobs.  

The only people affected would be the shareholders of these companies who would have to decide to buy shares in something different. Seems a small price to pay for a healthy coast, economy and food.  

If the strong Norwegian lobby was removed I think we would see a diverse B.C. land-based aquaculture industry thrive without growing salmon at all. Salmon viruses would no longer be a federal secret. We could get to work healing this coast and using some of the incredibly powerful science now available to turn B.C. wild salmon back on!

You can help by: Calling your local sushi restaurants and let them know what is in farmed salmon, sign and share the petition to Premier Kristi Clark with just over 98,000 signatures, and join the Salmon Are Sacred Facebook page and help with the public outreach to supermarkets.

In the next few weeks, millions of young wild salmon will be swimming to sea past salmon farms. They will be exposed to whatever viruses, bacteria and lice are in the farms. There is nothing smart about bathing wild salmon in industrial feedlot waste... nothing at all.

Alexandra Morton


It's not goodbye

One of Whistler's old, old timers — Murray Coats (72) moved last month to Penticton.

Murray lived here in Whistler at his Green Lake home for most of 49 years. Originally from Calgary he spent some time in New Zealand as a park Warden before coming to Whistler.

When Whistler Mountain open in 1965, Murray was one the first professional ski patrol, Hugh Smythe, former senior VP of Intrawest, recalls.

He had a blasting ticket and the first avalanche control was "invented" to keep the mountain safe. He also lived on the top of the mountain at the rear of the "Red Shack" and did some avalanche control work at the Granduc mine.

Later on Murray created Wedgemont Drilling & Blasting Co. His company did some excavation in the original Whistler Village, created the gravel pit called "Indian Head Quary, " and installed the "Gasex" avalanche controls on Duffy Lake Pass. He filled in the Toilet Bowl, fixed upper Franz's and other Whistler Mountain improvements and many small highway projects

Murray was probably best known for his athletic achievements. He did 17 Ironman competitions in Penticton, and participated in the Hawaiian Ironman contest. He was a very accomplished tri-athlete. After an accident he assumed the role as president of the organization encouraging young people to participate in sporting activities.

Murray was married several times; he cared very much for young folks. Whistler lost a great friend and supporter – and Penticton gained a kind, enterprising athlete.

Peter Alder and many of Murray's Whistler friends


SnowRama 2014

We would like to thank everyone, especially the snowmobilers, that came to the Powder Mountain Snowmobile Club parking lot in the Brandywine valley (March 1) for our annual SnowRama Easter Seals Fundraiser.

A fun day of sledding was had by all club members, and guests, and we enjoyed a by-donation barbecue and music in the parking lot.

Avalanche professional Carole Savage from the Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA) was on hand to run the transceiver search stations.

Along with our sponsors, Revolution Motor Sports, Route 99, No Limits, BCSF, CAA, Valley Chainsaw, Diamond Head Yamaha, and private donations from Club Members and 100 per cent of net gate revenue we managed to raise $5,096 for the Easter Seals.

It's for the kids!

Larissa McKeown, President Powder Mountain Snowmobile Club

Tony Cailes, President Black Tusk Snowmobile Club

Al Bush, President Pemberton Valley Snowmobile Club

Graham Roberge, Organizer SnowRama 2014

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