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While the rest of the media world takes a look back on the past year, Pique Newsmagazine is pleased to offer a look at some of the things which make Whistler such a special place by presenting The Best of Whistler. This list includes many important things. Where is the best public washroom? What is the best coffee? Where is the best place to make a free phone call? These, and many other topics, are found below. Enjoy, discuss, debate and frolic. This is the best of Whistler. May the list continue to grow! Best Solution to the Housing Crisis (not used): Renting the TSS Prince George for use as staff accommodation. The Prince George, while docked in Britannia Beach, burnt to the waterline on Oct. 15. Best Place to Kiss: There's not much doubt about this one, although the options are endless here in paradise. The best place to kiss is at the top of the mountains on a clear day, but any other place you can get one comes in a close second. Best day to go skiing: This was a tough choice, but we finally narrowed it down to seven of the 365.25 days of the year. The best day to go skiing is either Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Best Second Effort: At the Festival of Lights dinner and auction Nick Davies was outbid for the Labrador puppy by Mayor Ted Nebbeling (who paid $2,000). Davies then began bidding on the dinner for 10 hosted by the mayor. He planned on inviting noted dog-man Helmut Banka to the dinner at the mayor’s house, but was again outbid. Best Mountain Bike Trail: This ought to cause a stir! Any part of the Sea to Sky Trail would fit in this category, but the Cheakamus Challenge route from Squamish to Pemberton is the clear favourite. Look for trails north of Whistler to increase in popularity. Best way to keep warm on a cold day: Stay in bed with your partner. This is the time-honoured cure for hypothermia! Best way to keep cool on a warm day: Soak in a cool lake, with or without your partner. Best annual party: Some might say that Australia Day on the 26th of January is the best annual party. Might we also suggest that the Festival of Lights Gala is right up there with it? How about Tapley’s anniversary party? Best Act of Diplomacy: "Unions are here to stay and you’d better get used to it. This is a wonderful place, we want to make it wonderful for all." Silvia Simpson of the Canadian Auto Workers at February’s forum on unions in Whistler. Best Public Thank You: Neil Collins, ex-firefighter, who, after winning his wrongful dismissal suit against the boneheads who run this place, ran ads thanking Council and the Mayor for funding his early retirement. Best Public Washroom: While the choices for this category is somewhat limited due to the fact there aren't many public washrooms, the Chateau Whistler Resort's washrooms are for public use. Great music, TP and decor make this our first choice. Best Street Name: Everybody wants to live on Easy Street. Best Phoenix imitation: Dick Gibbons pumped in a load of money and some vision to allow Buffalo Bill’s to rise from the ashes. The new Buffalo Bill’s may not have many live bands, but it’s got live patrons and a live atmosphere, things that were absent for too long. Best Facial Hair: Luke Sauder of the Canadian National Ski Team, who had his beard trimmed in the shape of lightening bolts for the Warsteiner World Downhill. Sauder was 23rd in the race. Best Microwave Popcorn: Weeks and weeks of testing, usually on production night, has led us to the conclusion that the good old Carriage Trade brand is the one to pop. Not too greasy, lots of kernels and flavour. Best reason for courier service: The municipality received 235 tax payments the week following the July 2 deadline, which resulted in more than $56,000 in penalties. Of that total, $39,000 in penalties was assessed to payments received the day after the deadline. Canada Post says the payments were mailed too late to reach municipal hall by July 2. Most of those assessed fines think otherwise. Best place to make a free phone call: There are actually many ways to make free local and long distance calls here, but our best pick takes us back to the top of the mountain. Use the free cellular phones, which can also be found in the valley level at special events during summer and winter. Best meal deal under $5: This is a tough one, but generally speaking you can find a bowl of soup, stew or chili in this price range. Bonus piece of bread is often included. Enjoy! Best Coffee: There's lots of competition in town for the hearts of coffee lovers. Watch for a switch away from the latte, cap and espresso coffees as the retro move to a plain old cup of joe continues. Freshly ground, piping hot and in mug with a comfortable handle. Best Standoff/Job of Painting Selves into a Corner: The Howe Sound School Board, the Village of Pemberton and the Ministry of Environment. When the school board moved everything out of the old Pemberton Secondary School and into the new $13 million facility a few weeks before classes were to begin it effectively closed the old school building forever. This was a problem because the Village of Pemberton wouldn’t allow the new school to hook up to the sewer system. That was because the Pemberton sewage system was already at capacity and to exceed capacity would risk fines of up to $10,000 per day from the Ministry of Environment. The school board then launched a law suit against the Village of Pemberton, which effectively ended any negotiations, except between lawyers. After a few weeks of wondering where students were going to go to school, and only hours before a Supreme Court judge was to be asked to order the village to connect the school, the Ministry of Environment said Pemberton could exceed its permitted discharge. Best time to start apres ski: November. Just kidding, it doesn't matter what time of day apres starts, just so long as it takes place. Best Advertising Campaign — for someone else: The two-page Diesel Jeans ad in last winter’s Warsteiner World Downhill program showed a bunch of people (wearing Diesel jeans) in various stages of trauma following a phoney car accident. One of the bodies was clutching a briefcase with the number 1-800 SUE THEM on it. The number is for the law offices of Richard Eisner, a personal injuries lawyer in Los Angeles. Eisner was unaware his number was in the ad. Best free parking: As the retail and commercial development continues, the hunt for parking gets tougher. As always, Lots 1, 2, 3 and 4 are the prime areas, but your vehicle can only be left overnight in lot 4. One of our staff made this discovery last week, but the towing company moved the car to the proper lot for free. Next time, however, he won't be so lucky. Best place to smoke a cigar: The hands-down winner was the Mallard Bar in the Chateau Whistler Resort — until the new Bear Foot Bistro opened in the Listel Whistler Hotel. Both are stogie havens, but the Bear Foot has a separate room. If you have to smoke a cigar, these are the places to do it. Best "Mine’s Bigger Than Yours": Independent MLA David Mitchell and Whistler Mayor Ted Nebbeling (the Liberal candidate for Mitchell’s seat). Both announced ideas for improving transportation in the corridor. Both plans have been around for years. Best comeback: The Rotary Club, Whistler Angling Club, RMOW fish migration study. Whistler’s population of Dollys, rainbows and Kokanee is as strong and healthy as its population of boarders, bladers and bikers. Best reason to go to law school: The Whistler Campground-Greensides dispute over the right to develop the campground lands. Decision, appeal, decision, appeal, decision, appeal. Perhaps a courthouse could be built on the site as a permanent legacy. Best history story by a local: A tough one, but it’s a four way tie: Walter Zebrowski’s In Search of Freedom, Pat Norris’s Time and Tide; A history of Telegraph Cove, Peter Vogler’s selected columns in A Whistler Life, or Florence Petersen and Sally Mitchell’s Whistler Reflections. OK, so we took the easy way out. Best idea: Paul Burrows thought a whistle was a good idea, so he researched it, packaged it and marketed it. Then Paul went on holidays. Greg Griffiths thought a whistle was a good idea, too. He packaged it and marketed it when Paul got back from vacation he had competition. Best Reasons for a Citizen’s Referendum style of Local Government: Council Citizens Freestyle Centre/Alta Lake Zoning Swap 0 1 Campground proposals approvals 0 2 Paving Lost Lake Trail 0 3 Housing Quick Fixes 0 4 May the New Year be so full.