Letters to the Editor 

Care, empathy, respect shared in loss

On April 6, 2008 I met a very sombre ski patroller named Scott Hepworth on Blackcomb’s Sunset Boulevard. He was skiing along, picking up small flowers that had been covered in new snow. These were a makeshift memorial for Ai Ito, the young Japanese woman who was found the previous day by Blackcomb Patrol. The flowers had been left by her many friends.

His simple act of brushing off snow showed me the care, empathy and respect that the searchers must have expended. Scott explained that the team had worked, wanting closure for Ai’s family and friends.

Thank you patrol team for your time, effort and respect for someone none of you ever knew personally.

Arigato gozaimasu.

Kenji Morita

Richmond, B.C.

A tough season, an outstanding team

After 12 years on the Blackcomb Ski Patrol I have seen many changes in the operation, tasks and professionalism of our ski patrol. Times have changed and so have we. If anything ever goes amiss with me or my family there is no agency that I would trust more with my safety than the ski patrol.

Following a tough season fraught with tragedy I would like to give a heartfelt thanks to the members of the Blackcomb and Whistler patrols.

Everyone has worked diligently and tirelessly in an attempt to mitigate risk for visitors and Whistler residents alike. To those of you who paid with your bodies this season, you are not forgotten.

I watched as the search for Ai Ito was backed off while Blackcomb Patrol continued to search. A few of my closest friends located Ai and recovered her body so her family could have some peace.

The week previous I had the unfortunate task of dispatching while Blackcomb Patrol located and recovered the body of an Italian backcountry snowboarder who died in an unsurvivable fall.

It hasn’t been easy on anyone with this mayhem; the patrollers left on the mountains work twice as hard to keep us safe.

So thank you Blackcomb and Whistler patrols. I am so proud of our teams and you will remain the emergency contact number for my son.

Darlene Douglas

Blackcomb Ski Patrol

Further to Lot 1/9

RE: Lot 1 & 9: Error on the petition

I wish to express my regret that the petition regarding Lot 1 & 9 contained an error in it as it risks muddying the issues. The error is in the statement that the 6,000 seat amphitheater at the centre of the Celebration Plaza is “temporary”. In fact it is not temporary but will be a permanent installation. In my solicitation of signatures, I believe that I clarified that for persons who signed. I apologize to anyone who signed for me and was not clear as to what is going to be built. It should be noted that a significant number of the people who signed the petition for me, are asking for further discussion as they did not expect and do not value the amphitheater as the only legacy on that site that has been funded.

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