Letters to the editor 

Built-in sustainability

Why are we losing sleep and wasting newsprint on "Sustainability?"

We will always have sustainability. It's called Vancouver, Seattle and Big Daddy. All will perpetuate the winter ski and boarding, and summer golf/outdoor season.

What mountain in North America has a combined population of 4 million people who can be on site within 1.5 to 5 hours? A town with the largest per capita property tax base in North America.

And where can you find a Big Daddy who builds staff housing, valley trails and paved roads… a Big Daddy who says "we will work closely with our contractors, the Ministry of Highways and the Resort Municipality of Whistler to minimize disruptions to the public."

In case you haven't determined Big Daddy's identity… his real name is Intrawest. And although he's running out of cheap crown land to develop, he has major income from lift operators, equipment sales and other divisions to keep him around for a while. Fortunately, Big Daddy is not afraid to spend money to make money on quality construction, roads, a modicum of employee housing and promotion.

And if there is another way to fatten the bottom line, and it's called sustainability, Big Daddy will be there.

In addition to those three legs that support the Whistler stool, we have another sustainability that none of the other three can take away. The opportunity to jump on a bike, go for a hike, take a swim, or skate on a lake are there for the asking. And they're free. Whistler will always be the King of the Hill when it comes to world skiing events, world snowboarding and world mountain biking.

So let’s not lose any more sleep about sustainability. Let's concentrate on housing for those who wish to stay around and raise a family. (Employee Housing is for singles and couples.) And if they do get a house, let's fight for fairness in property taxes. Those are the last two pieces in the Sustainability Puzzle.

Al Eaton



So long to a Whistler icon

This week, one of Whistler’s most colourful characters is moving east to Toronto (or the TdotOdot as she calls it). The gal is none other than Kristen Robinson, or KR as she is known to most.

She did it all (and then some) during her 11 years in Whistler. She started out filling the sniffle stations at Blackcomb and moved on to become the voice on the snowphone. She waitressed at Citta’s, the Longhorn, Settabello, Trattoria, Caminetto and the Delta. She travelled the Sea to Sky Highway as the Mountain FM Mountain Patroller, wrote the "Kristen’s Kronicles" social column in the Pique in the early days, was the weather fairy on Blackcomb TV, and worked on practically ever festival that would have her, from Winterstart to SkateSpace, Cornucopia, Alpine Concerts and the World Ski & Snowboard Festival. Starting off as a volunteer with the festival when it began in 1996, KR spent the past seven years building the music and outdoor concert series and events. She is most memorable as the chick on the mainstage usually in some flir shouting "Whistler, do you wanna rock?" KR was and remains a Whistler icon.

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