Letters to the editor 

This week's letters

Some of our Mom's & Dad's read the newspaper and we heard about Silva getting shot. It's really sad. It wasn't okay to shoot the dog, he was just having fun going for a walk. The hunters were actually hunting for deers, not dogs. We don't want it to happen again. It's not safe for hunters, people and dogs to be in the same place. Veronica & James, sorry about your dog, we hope he's in heaven. Maybe in a long time, you can get another dog to remember Silva.

Marmots 4&5 year old Preschool Program

Whistler Children's Centre

 

Poor Mr. Ryan. There's just no escape from international criticism of his elected (sic) officials' foreign and domestic policies. Even in his adopted second (third?) home in Lalaland. A fairly typical mindset – only report the news and opinions I want to hear. It's okay, FoxNews will be available here, so it's still possible to bury one's head in the sand (or snow).

Maybe he's right. Maybe Canadians should mind their own business. Maybe Americans should do the same, instead of telling Iraqis (and a growing number of developing nations) how to vote, live, or whatever.... I like Americans, though. Well, at least the ones with passports.

Alex Nikolic

Tofino

Is Cornucopia becoming a cash grab? Let’s make sure it doesn’t.

It’s so unfortunate that some events can ruin others. In the case of this year’s Cornucopia, I know some – and probably most – events are still a good ticket value, while the huge greed monsters have shown up in other events. This year marks the end of what used to be a good event. The Friday night after-party found me waiting for 30 minutes in a lineup with a $107 pre-paid ticket. What’s up with that? The reason: over capacity (so the doorman said), which means over sold. This is absolutely out of control.

As a big supporter and organizer myself in lots of community events, to have this happen puts a dark cloud over the promoters and the event as a whole.

For the rest of the events and the promoters of such, please do not follow this trend and keep to your values. Cornucopia is good for Whistler and the boost it gives the village at a time of year when the village needs it the most.

Bruce Lane

Whistler

I am so frustrated by the WHA and their inability to manage their current inventory of purchased housing. Instead of "exploring road ends" why can't they look in their own backyard first.

There are many WHA units that are no longer "owner occupied". For example I know a woman who is moving to Seattle to be with her new doctor husband and their plan is to use her WHA unit as a weekend get away. How scandalous is that! If you leave town your unit should go to the next person on the waiting list.

Of course other employee-owned units are being rented out to locals but this eliminates the opportunity for someone else who wants to make a home here. Judging by the summer papers there does not seem to be a rental shortage for year-round residents. Seasonal is another matter. Of course rents need to become more affordable but I think that is starting to happen.

Wake up WHA, stop letting people take advantage of this precious inventory. Who knows how many units this would free up. I think that is where the new "housing expediter" should start looking.

Jason Rudy

Whistler

These people are making a difference

These are exciting times for us! This week Zero Ceiling is training four street youth from Vancouver to become snowboard instructors. This training should lead to jobs with the Snowboard School, a home in HOUSE, and a strong network of support to assist them to start a healthy new life in Whistler.

I would like to give a massive thanks to the following organizations that have contributed financially towards Zero Ceiling’s programs for the upcoming winter:

CASI B.C., Citizen’s Bank, Coast Whistler Hotel, Community Foundation of Whistler, Festival of Lights, GLC, Great Wall Climbing, HOUSE, Resort Municipality of Whistler, Uli’s Flipside, W1, Whistler-Blackcomb, Whistler-Blackcomb Foundation, Whistler Community Services Society, Whistler Wellness Fair.

Thanks also to our wonderful and talented volunteers and other individuals and organizations who have helped us over the years.

Working in partnership with this generous community, together we have had a positive impact on close to 900 disadvantaged youth since 1997.

Joanna Woods

Program Manager

Whistler

The case of the missing Prawn

To most, Whistler has the reputation of being just a good times town. People come, people party, have a good time and leave. Unfortunately this lifestyle can also lead to some hard times. With the recent string of thefts from the area, lots of people have been left without many of their hard earned possessions.

Whistler is targeted because it has the reputation of being a playing field for the rich and sometimes the hardworking locals such as ourselves get caught up in the whole game that these lowlifes play. These crooks walked away with half of our lives just a few weeks ago when they stole our (motor) home, fondly named The Prawn.

Fortunately for us Whistler has a strong sense of community and we are surrounded by amazing people who are willing to help friends in need. The missing Prawn seemed catastrophic to us in the beginning, but has been turned to a minor bump in the road of life thanks to the support of all of our wonderful friends.

KLC and I would like to thank everyone for their support, stylish clothing donations, and financial assistance (special thanks to Dirty Beats Lindsey). Huge hugs and lots of good energy to all you fabulous souls that have made us feel proud and happy to be a part of this frickin’ fantastic community!

A seriously sincere thank you.

Chili Thom and KLC

Whistler

Last week as I parked my car in the Town Plaza Parking; I noticed seven propane fuelled taxis parked right beneath the Delta Whistler Village Suites.

So this is a letter of questions and concerns. Delta Whistler Village Suites, did you know about the taxis? Whistler fire department, did you know about this? Isn't there a law against parking propane fuelled vehicles underground? If the propane leaks, are these vehicles potential bombs?

To the Resort Municipality of Whistler, are you going to check all the underground parking lots, to make sure there aren't any potential bombs there? I'm sure the visitors to our wonderful resort would feel better if you did.

E. Pigeau

Pemberton

Please remind parents that at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2 at Spring Creek Community School, there will be a Community Information Meeting regarding French Immersion in Whistler. This would be a universally available program.

Dr. Rick Erickson, District Superintendent, will convene this meeting to present information about French Immersion in Whistler and to allow parents to ask questions before they complete a French Immersion survey. Parents of pre-school children are encouraged to attend as well as parents of elementary school age children. Childcare will be provided.

The program is to be run at Spring Creek CS and the school district will not provide bus service to children outside the SCCS boundary area. It is possible that parents could privately organize transportation – so if you live within the Myrtle Philip CS boundaries don’t write French Immersion off.

If your children are in grades that will not be in the initial phase of the French Immersion program, just answer as if their grades will have an immersion program. While we cannot expect to see a full French Immersion high school curriculum, parents have proposed an Honours French course at the high school level. This would benefit graduates of the elementary French Immersion program and L'École la Passerelle. Please remember that the survey is an expression of interest and not a commitment or registration for French Immersion, so you may answer without restraint.

Merci,

Cathy Jewett

Whistler

In a letter published, Nov. 25 which discusses the alleged impact the meat industry has on the environment, the writer alludes to a connection between McDonald’s and rainforest depletion – thereby misleading your readers.

For the record, McDonald’s does not, has not and will not purchase beef from rainforest or recently deforested rainforest land. This policy is strictly enforced and closely monitored. Any McDonald’s supplier that is found to deviate from the policy or cannot prove compliance, will be immediately discontinued.

McDonald’s policy is to use only locally produced and processed beef in every country McDonald’s has restaurants. In areas where domestic beef is not available, does not meet quality standards or is not competitive with world prices, McDonald’s imports beef from approved suppliers in other countries.

Here in Canada, 100 per cent of our beef is sourced locally. In fact, McDonald’s Canada is the largest quick service restaurant purchaser of Canadian beef in the country.

In addition, McDonald’s globally is a supporter of efforts to restore and protect degraded rainforest land. Since 1993, McDonald’s has partnered with Conservation International and Clemson University to help restore and protect 2.7 million degraded acres of rainforest land in La Amistad Biosphere Reserve, on the Costa Rica/Panama border.

At McDonald’s, we take our commitment to the environment very seriously, and I would encourage the writer to properly research and attribute her facts prior to making false accusations about McDonald’s.

Tom Horler

Owner-operator

McDonald’s Whistler and Pemberton

During my last visit to Whistler, I was knocked off my bike on Highway 99, whilst on my way to the Loonie Race. I know it has been a while, but there are some people I would like to thank:

Thanks to the two strangers who helped me at the side of the road immediately after the accident.

Thanks to the Ambulance crew, RCMP and the Fire Service.

And thanks to all my riding buddies and friends in Whistler for all your ongoing support and encouragement. I'll be back!

Sally Gabriel

Wales

We want to remind your readers to watch for their TB Vets Keytags in January. A large Ontario based organization is aggressively marketing its key tag program throughout B.C. While we feel strongly that people should donate to the charity of their choice, we also don’t want loyal TB Vets donors to mistake their campaign for ours.

TB Vets has been providing B.C.’s original key tag program since 1946. The TB Vets Keytag Program starts in January and only funds programs within the communities of British Columbia. Donations to our Keytag Program are used to provide vital respiratory equipment for B.C. hospitals, fund research into the search for a cure for TB and employ many people with disabilities.

For more information about TB Vets, B.C.'s Keytag Program or how to donate, please call 1-888-874-5626 or visit our Web site at www.tbvets.org

John Edwards

TB Vets Volunteer Chairman and WWII Veteran

Re: A U.S. friend no longer feels welcome (Pique letters Nov. 18)

Boo Hoo — I think someone needs a hug!

I’m an international visitor too – I’m Australian like so many here, I'm sure you know. Over the past 12 months I have encountered "negative" attitudes caused by the bad behaviour of the Aussies been and gone before me. I too have received terrible service. But you know what? I don’t blame something about myself I can’t change, e.g. nationality, for another’s attitude or bad experience. But I’m not a fool either – there are some naughty Aussies out there that could ruin it for the rest of us. And it’s the same for all nationalities.

Working as a retailer I have found that rude customers can come from any part of the globe. Barking demands at me while I’m helping someone else; not returning my greeting or acknowledging that I have helped out; or just treating me as a subservient. So you see Dave, it works both ways. You may not like to hear this though – a large percentage of those rude customers tend to be American. The truth is I don’t get paid any extra if my customers are from the U.S. or Europe or Asia, your nationality is irrelevant to me, only the manners your parents taught you. I can appreciate how the yearly favourite list may offend some, but as you say it is all in good fun. Would it make you feel better if next year a category was included for "where to take your poor friends"? Is that politically correct now?

I would hope that a Canadian, albeit a Canadian journalist, expressing their opinion doesn’t alienate the U.S. population. That’s the U.S. population that loves democracy and is proud of its freedom of speech I’m talking about here. Rather than a knee jerk reaction, consider that the article was not referring to you on a personal level. Forty per cent anti-American to me reads 40 per cent anti-American government! The youth that I know, including Americans, are pro-peace and for preserving their environment to enjoy with future generations. They are anti-war not anti-American. If you look beyond USA Today and CNN you’ll realize that the youth of today, irrespective of race, are motivated to live in a peaceful world. Do you remember prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq (second time around) the millions and millions of people worldwide who protested against the war? Or did your "balanced conservative and liberal news network" censor that?

When the "obvious biases" about the U.S. and its political process bother you don’t just stamp your foot and sulk – tantrums stop working once you turn 6 years old. Why don’t you try having a rational conversation with someone of opposing views? And by this I mean listen to what they have to say, let them finish their sentences, and don’t be offended if by the end of your chat they still don’t agree with you. And just as importantly, they should pay you the same respect.

The fact that Whistler has been quieter lately does not relate to its "large voice" but rather the strengthening Canadian economy, continuing ripple effects from September 11 and less than expected snowfall in previous years.

I hope you enjoy your vacation to Silver Star. It is a beautiful resort and the locals are great. God forbid if they express an opinion.

Angela Downes

Whistler

Being born in France, naturally I know who Manu Cho is, even though I’m most likely old enough to be Gillie Easdon's father. His real name is Oscar Tramor, born in Paris in the ’60s from a Galician father and a Basque mother. He is the founder of Mano Negra, a French group very famous in the ’80s and early ’90s (you must have heard Kings of the Bongo), until the members went their separate ways. Oscar became Manu Cho (Cho is his father name) and the rest is history, as the saying goes.

It is interesting that many French singers and musicians have foreign roots. To name only a few: Ivo Livi (Yves Montand), born in Italy; S. Aznavourian (Aznavour), born in Paris of Armenian parents; Dalida and Claude Francois, both born in Egypt and both still very famous 20 years after their premature deaths; Patrica Kass, unknown in North America but huge not only in Europe but also in South America, Japan and other Asian countries, is half German; and let's not forget the Gypsy Kings, born and raised in Montpellier, southern France, from Gypsy-Catalan parents who fled Spain during the civil war.

Virgin Megastore sells Manu Cho. Give him a listen!

J-L Brussac

Coquitlam

Re: Time for a trade in (Pique letters Nov. 25)

Thank you for your comments regarding Whistler-Blackcomb's efforts to mitigate climate change. We are proud of our team and of the efforts put forth to date, though we are the first to admit that we still have a long way to go.

You ask us about our GM vehicles for the senior leadership team. I hope you will be pleased to hear that we are awaiting delivery of four new hybrid trucks that will be used by our senior team members. These hybrid trucks reduce emissions by 15 per cent through the use of electric power in addition to a conventional internal-combustion engine, allowing the gasoline engine to shut off and switch to electric when braking (lower than 13 mph) and when stopped. GM continues to evolve its product line and will introduce a more advanced hybrid vehicle in 2007. In the meantime, our team does require vehicles that are safe and durable when used in mountainous conditions. A number of these vehicles are used interchangeably amongst our staff for various operational requirements throughout the valley and on the mountains. Within the fleet of remaining Yukons, we have switched to a smaller, higher fuel efficient engine and are now testing the use of ethanol blended fuel.

Dave Brownlie

Whistler-Blackcomb

It was encouraging to see that the Whistler council have started to explore our options with the pending closure of the Whistler Landfill. The "wet" coast is no place to build a municipal solid waste landfill. Modern landfills have secure multi-liners to collect leachate and daily top cover to reduce vermin, odours and protect sight lines. Leachate is produced by the moisture contained in the waste and from rainfall. It contains organic, inorganic materials and heavy metals. It is toxic. It is collected, transported and disposed of by a number of methods including incineration. The anaerobic digestion, due to moisture, that takes place in the landfill produces methane gas (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Methane gas is collected and flared off or used for industrial fuel. This fuel has to be scrubbed to remove toxic substances such as benzene and vinyl chloride (bad stuff). Collection efficiencies vary between 60 and 85 per cent. Escaped methane gas contributes to greenhouse gases. Methane is 25 times more harmful in the upper atmosphere than CO2.

Modern tipping fees must reflect the liabilities and maintenance of the facility when it is closed. This is why all the municipal dumps are now closed in the GVRD. Their legacy still remains. The GVRD now transports solid waste 300 km to Cache Creek. At Cache Creek all the above processes still take place, it just takes even longer due to the drier climate. Added to this situation is the transport factor. A 40 tonne B-train transport truck leaves Vancouver every hour, 24/7. The emissions from the truck and their consumables adds to the environmental overload. Chips for U.S. pulp and paper mills are carried by the trucks on the return trip but are subsidized. The required cleaning of the trucks of waste, once again adds to the environmental burden.

Enter modern day incineration, Waste to Energy plants (WTE). After the reduce, reuse cycle of waste, a modern incineration plant situated on a 5 hectare site will reduce waste volume better than 75 per cent, provide energy in a number of forms, produce zero water discharge, recover remaining ferrous metals and scrub 99.9 per cent of the pollutants contained in the solid waste during the combustion process. Remaining pollutants are scrubbed from the flue discharge. These remaining pollutants and their reagents amount to less than 5 per cent of the incoming refuse. This 5 per cent is stabilized to reduce leachate and disposed of in a landfill. Ultimately waste after recycling becomes a sustainable energy source and itself becomes part of the recycle process. WTE plants have a lifetime of 25-40 years, longer with retrofit. Their sites have a minimum footprint and are not contaminated at the end of their life.

I have just scratched the surface but those who take time to understand the environmental and technical aspects between the incineration and landfill will realize the merits of a modern Waste To Energy Plan. The environmental impact (effect on greenhouse gases) is six times less than landfill for the same processed solid waste tonnage.

Ken Boatwright

Whistler

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