Letters to the Editor 

Pay parking too costly

This whole pay parking in the day lots fiasco is inevitable. But for those of us that drive to work and have to park in the day lots, we are losing $1 per hour worked just to park.

The definition of a Parking Poacher is someone who charges you outragous prices to leave your vehicle parked. Thanks to the RMOW. Take my $50 a month, I don't need it to pay bills and eat!

Brodie Huggins




Identity returned thanks to RCMP

We would like to publicly thank Constable Scott Gielen and the Whistler RCMP Department for all their hard work in finding and successfully prosecuting the thief, who broke into our car, stole a briefcase and proceeded to steal my husband's identity.

Everything you read about this terrible crime is true, from the sleepless nights of worry to the countless hours of work required to stay one step ahead of someone out to take over all that you have worked hard for over the years.

Emotionally, it was very difficult for us and the Whistler RCMP was generous with its time as it policed a summer filled with festivals and long weekend visitors.

It was able to coordinate the successful prosecution of the thief with the Vancouver Police Dept. staff. We know the small mountain of paperwork and phone calls we generated with our situation. We can only imagine what they cope with on a daily basis as life goes on in our resort town.

We are so grateful for all their help.

Kathy & Bob Smith



Be thankful for RCMP vigilance

My letter is addressed to the ignorant, whining and ungrateful people who have submitted letters to Pique (Pique Oct. 6 and Sept 29, 2011 ) and The Whistler Question over the past few weeks, complaining about so-called "over-policing" by the RCMP in Whistler.

I have been a resident in Whistler and Pemberton for the past 15 years and if anyone is qualified to adjudicate "over-policing" it is I.

I grew up in apartheid-era South Africa. I won't bore you with the details. However, I would like to take the time to first of all extend an enormous amount of appreciation, gratitude and pride regarding the excellent and professional service provided by the Whistler, Pemberton and Squamish RCMP to our communities and our families. Were it not for their constant vigilance, their compassion and professional intervention, we would not be able to leave our homes and cars unlocked. Nor would our children be able to walk home from school or around the village safely.

Visitors seeking evening entertainment and order on the mountains and in the village would not enjoy the comparative bliss and lack of criminal elements in our towns. It is not by some miracle or coincidence that Whistlerites are able to enjoy the luxury of a relatively crime-free environment, which is comparable to Disneyland.

Consider that while you are tucking your children into bed at night and retiring to safe slumber, RCMP officers all over our country are working tirelessly to combat the onslaught of pedophiles, rapists, thieves and murderers who would otherwise target our communities. Unlike Vancouver we don't have drug addicts or rebellious gang members on our streets.

As a previous caretaker of a lodge in Creekside for six years, I had no choice but to call for assistance from the Whistler RCMP because drunken fools were either setting fire to their rooms, attempting to jump off the roof of the lodge into the swimming pool, or trying to snowboard off a railing onto Highway 99, just to name a few bizarre and dangerous activities. On each occasion, whether it was 2 a.m. or 4 p.m., the RCMP arrived to resolve these situations, often in tandem with the Fire Department. Were it not for their prompt and professional intervention, the hundred-plus guests in the lodge would not have enjoyed a safe stay in Whistler.

So consider yourselves and your families fortunate to be protected and served by such a high calibre of trained and dedicated professionals, instead of being petty and ungrateful.

Lisa Tracy Haeck



Treat Callaghan Country with respect

I have a question. (Does) the (cross-country) early bird pass include the Callaghan area as... well as the (Whistler Olympic Park)? And if not why not?

The Callaghan Country owners have given their soul for your area to become the official WOP. It's so very short sighted on your behalf to pursue this ski season without Callaghan included in your pricing schedule. You have the finances to hire lots of management. But when it comes to the essentials, incredible terrain, a beautiful B.C. park and a stunning lodge. Not so much.

You all should be (held accountable) then thrown out of your positions since you are not capable of running a world-class area with integrity and respect for others that have given so much.

I personally will not be buying your pass.

I will be buying a Callaghan Country ski pass only.

Gail Morrison




Reconsider development in Pemberton

I am beginning to wonder if the councillors of Pemberton see the village that I moved to in the same way as I do, or if they are so blinkered by the possibility of extra development cash and offers of free land for a swimming pool/ice rink, that they can see nothing else.

The Ravens Crest development seems to be a done deal, despite the fact that the public hearing has not yet taken place, but which will be rushed through before elections in November when two members of the current council will be stepping down.

This council seems to have forgotten that they have already allowed development of up to 500 units on the Benchlands area (which is also not in the flood zone like the Ravens Crest lands), of which not even a tenth have yet been built. They seem to have forgotten the approval for Tiyata at Signal Hill, which would bring approximately 300 units close to the village. And they seem to have forgotten (although I'm not sure how considering it is a blot on the landscape downtown) that the Terrastone Crossing building will provide 40 units and is in mid-development. That's close to a thousand units right there!

They also seem to think that Pemberton is still booming, both with residents and economically, but nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, there was massive population growth between 1996 and 2006 but since then statistics for B.C. have shown that Pemberton will grow less than the average for the province, and that's not due to a lack of housing.

You only have to take a look at the current inventory on whistlerlistings.com and you will find a variety of homes of all sizes that have been up for sale for some considerable length of time, and which have not moved despite drop in price after drop in price.

And councillors really think that building more houses will change the fortunes of Pemberton?

Firstly, you need to encourage businesses to operate here and not stop them in their tracks - yes; I am referring to the Pine View Estates saga. You also cannot rely on Whistler to provide jobs for all these new residents and you cannot rely on Vancouverites to buy a vacation home here (not that that would help the local business community on a day-to-day basis anyway).

Secondly, you simply have to allow current development to be completed before deciding if more residential units are even needed.

Finally, you have to listen to the worries of this community, those people who elected you to serve them, and not rush headfirst into something that could be detrimental to the whole of the Village of Pemberton.

Zoe Martin


Farewell and thanks

As most of Whistler knows, Solarice Wellness Spa closed its doors last week.

It is unfortunate that the owners of Solarice, due to these hard times, were unable to keep it running.

For those that don't know, the yoga studio was the longest running studio in the village itself, and I had the pleasure and privilege of being there from the beginning eight-and-a-half years ago.

Although it is taught frequently that change is the only constant and that this is to be expected... it is shifts like these that are more challenging to accept. I can, however, appreciate all the good times that we shared as well as all the lessons learned.

I want to thank the yoga community for being so supportive to myself, and all the Solarice instructors, during this time. I also want to thank all my students and teachers (sometimes one and the same) for always being by my side. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn and grow with you all. I feel so blessed to have had such understanding people around me during this challenging year... with compassion you helped me to mourn and to heal.

Since we didn't get an opportunity to say good-bye I'm going to assume I'll see you all again sooner rather then later. In what capacity, where and when I am not sure of yet, but I'm not going anywhere. I love you all too much.

I finally have a website. I will update it frequently and let you know where I'll be teaching next. Classes, workshops, retreats and courses can be found at www.colleenfelgate.com .

I am confident our relationship will continue. I look forward to sharing more laughs and tears, and to our "bright" future together. Wishing you all the best.

Colleen Felgate




Looking for relief

I was hoping for my health's sake I would not get too excited about the next civic election. But now (Mayor Ken) Melamed wants to serve us for the third term. He wants to bring us more nice, expensive goodies we have to pay for and we cannot really afford. I am surprised he is running. With his many actions he polarized this community to the extreme. His car tires were slashed in an inexcusable act of protest.

As a so-called "green mayor," he betrayed his principles by vigorously defending the asphalt plant.

I do not have any agenda or belong to any interest group, but since living in Whistler no actions by any other politician, except maybe by G.W. Bush, have frustrated me so much as the mayor's actions and decisions.

I believe he may have good intentions. But the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Hell? How can anybody even mention Hell in Whistler? We live in Paradise. I sometimes have to pinch myself and admit - I am in paradise.

However, it would be a perfect Hell where somebody was condemned for an eternity to endlessly wander up and down the Village Stroll without a penny in his pocket. To inhale all the tantalizing smells from restaurants, food and pizza shops and to smell strong aromas of coffee from coffee shops. To see all these crowds drinking and enjoying themselves on the patios, in pubs and night clubs and not being able to partake in any of these enjoyments. Isn't that Hell?

Sometimes it feels to me like that when I am trying to avoid temptations in order to stick to our monthly budget, battered by increasing taxes, fees and expenses.

Well, my frustrations will be over one way or another on the election night. He will be either be gone or, if the people of Whistler in their inexplicable wisdom give him another mandate, then for me there will be nothing more left to say but: "Hail to the Caesar!" before I forever hold my peace.

Drago Arh




How sustainable is the Centre for Sustainability?

Championed by Mayor (Ken) Melamed (the Centre for Sustainability) was to draw revenues from other governments for Whistler's insights into environmental sustainability.

Under the Freedom of Information Act I asked for the gross revenues from other municipalities for the years 2009 and 2010. Williams Lake paid $174,612 while the four other municipalities listed on the Centre's web site were only good for $15,000 total. There are five employees at the Centre with three making over $75,000, with the Executive Director at $129,543.64 in 2009.

Oddly the Centre's employee salaries did not appear in the RMOW SOFI report for 2010.

I asked about this also and got back: "In 2010 the Centre's financial structure changed and as a result the RMOW no longer administers the Centre's daily operating costs and therefore, Cheeying Ho's remuneration was not included in the ... report."

Maybe we've joined Greece in inventive accounting, me thinks. If we assume that total salaries are about $450,000 and are half of the Centre's total cost of say $900,000 as an estimate -then the Centre is likely costing the taxpayers about $800,000 a year, as revenues from outside communities are less than 11 per cent of costs. Apparently our mayor thinks sustainability is going to replace capitalism, however, to me it looks more like this "Sacred Cow" is due for the slaughterhouse.

Lennox McNeely



And the winner is....

The results from the 10th Annual Harvest Soup Contest held on October 9th are in with 650 bowls of soup being served up in three hours.

First place went to Bob Haselbach from Roland's Pub who served up the amazing Twice Smoked Bacon and Wild Sockeye Salmon Chowder, second place went to The Dubh Linn Gate with its Hill Top Roasted Pear & Amber Ghost Squash Soup and third place went to The Fairmont Chateau Whistler for its Roasted Potato and Leek.

Honorable mentions go to The Cracked Pepper Café for their delicious first time effort, netting them fourth spot; Gone Village Eatery for the most beautiful display decorations; The Four Seasons for their very daring and beautifully presented Pho Soup, and Ric's and The Mix for their always enthusiastic participation and culinary perfection... no three-peat this year, but  there is always next year!

Laura Street
Whistler Waldorf School


RMOW web design disappoints

After reading an obviously manicured press release about the new Municipality (of Whistler) website, I went online to check it out. And let me tell you - I was floored by how unimpressive the new website is.

I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination but, like so many others, I am on the web almost daily and can easily tell the difference between something that looks like it's worth $50,000+ and something that looks like the local high school website.

A friend of mine, who is currently finishing his Masters in Computer Science at UBC, also took a look at the site and noted that apparently all the links from his Google search landed him on the homepage? Seriously?

To be honest, I'm pretty disappointed with whoever the project manager was at the municipality. As a local business owner, I was hoping that it would blow people away when considering coming to Whistler. Instead it is boring, text heavy and frankly - ugly.

Jeremy Schaab




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