Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for the week of May 18th

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Humans cause hot springs closure

It is tragic that persons visiting Keyhole Hot Springs continue to litter the area and therefore attract bears.

Last year, 1.5 tons of garbage was removed from the area! Are visitors not aware that their behaviour can result in habituated bears, which could result in a black bear or even a threatened grizzly bear being killed if they subsequently become "aggressive" towards visitors?

What kind of society are we that it is normal to leave any trash, let alone 1.5 tons of trash, behind?

Killing habituated bears is also unacceptable, especially in this context, when the removal of human food sources is likely to result in the bears reverting to their natural food sources. 

Innergex, the company responsible for industrializing the area with its river-diversion project, was fined last year by B.C.'s Ministry of Environment for failing to remove bear attractants from its work site. 

After allowing the situation to persist for too long last year and this spring, the B.C. government has decided to close off the hot springs.

I urge the government to closely and regularly monitor compliance with this closure, and to issue fines to deter other visitors. The government must also ensure that visitors do not trash Meager Creek Hot Springs with the potential for habituated bears repeating itself. 

Louise Taylor
Pemberton

Hummingbird 911

My husband, Ray, noticed it first.

It was a cool, rainy morning in May and something was hanging off the hummingbird feeder.

"What is that?" Ray asked.

After quickly going outside onto the deck with stepladder in hand, Ray discovered "that" was a poor, little hummingbird.

The bird was hanging upside down from one of the foot perches on the hummingbird feeder. Still breathing, with no strength left to remain upright and in obvious distress, the tiny bird's tiny talons maintained a death-like grip on the perch.

"What should we do?" we wondered. Our hearts filled with compassion and immediately we moved into rescue mode.

Checking the Internet, we discovered it is difficult to rescue hummingbirds due to their fragility.

Ray surmised that the little guy had probably flown to the feeder for "last call" the night before, but didn't make it home due to darkness, dropping temperatures and rain. He most likely had stayed clinging to the feeder through the night.

The website informed us that we had less than 24 hours to do something to help save this creature. Now that it was morning, 12 of those precious hours had already elapsed.

Realizing the bird was in peril due to a drop in his core temperature, we needed to find a way to warm him up.

I threw our Magic Bag bean-bag into the microwave for two minutes and then wrapped it in a towel.

Carefully lifting the hummingbird feeder down from its hanger, we were able to place it and the delicate little cling-on onto the warm bag. Another light, warm towel was loosely placed around Mr. Ruby-Throat and after a little while we began to see signs of life.

The bird's heart rate and breathing visibly increased. He was warming up!

Anticipating his unspoken request, "Give me sugar, in water," we engaged the use of a glass eye dropper, as suggested by the website, and started feeding the hummingbird.

His thin, translucent tongue darted in and out... it was hard to keep up with such thirst.

Well, we are pleased to report that, after less than an hour, the patient was able to rev up his motor and buzz off as only hummingbirds can.

Before setting up our outdoor emergency room, we had also read that it might be best to let nature take its course, but how could we have just left him hanging there? We knew we had to try and help.

After he flew off, I turned to Ray and, as we slapped palms in a high-five said, "Well, our work is done." Turning our attentions back to the items of the day, we were left with an overwhelming sense of relief and accomplishment.

We like to imagine the scene back at the nest: "Well, if it isn't old Rufus ... Where have you been all night?!"

"Sweetie, you'll never believe ..."

One of God's tiniest creatures, placed in our care. What a joy and privilege!

Pauline Wiebe
Whistler

Saying farewell to Shane Bennett

In December 1994 I met Shane at Marketplace Lodge. We worked together to create an innovative sliding wall to enhance the Whistler Chalet's new office. He was hard-working, a creative thinker and very talkative. He dreamed of having a family.

Through the years I discovered he had a diversity of skills; construction, computers, the Internet, social media and political theories. He married and had his family. He was a very dedicated father and always spoke so kindly and respectfully of Rie, his wife. 

Shane's sons, Ren, Leo, Neo and Zen, were introduced to sailing through the Waldorf School. They loved sailing and wanted to spend more time with the Whistler Sailing Association (WSA).

Shane was quick to create opportunities for them to be at the clubhouse, to help fix boats, with site cleanup and assisting instructors. He was almost always personally in attendance as a dedicated dad. He wanted his kids to experience every possible opportunity — something he said he did not experience in his youth.

All of his kids were dedicated volunteers and have gone on to represent WSA in sailing races. Ren and Leo are now certified sailing instructors working for the club during the summer.

He was very proud, and we are all very proud of his sons, as wonderful ambassadors for the club and the entire community.

Shane repaired many of our boats (sail and coach). He took videos of the Wednesday night races to help WSA promote sailing, and put his heart into it too. Yes, he was very enthusiastic about the club's success and served on our board of directors. 

Underneath it all he cared dearly for the success of his boys, for Whistler Sailing, for Whistler and even Canada. Shane passed away suddenly earlier this month. We will miss him and his engaging discussions.

Please help support the family through the crowd-funding at www.gofundme.com/fundraiser-for-the-bennett-family.

Patrick McCurdy
Commodore, Whistler Sailing Association

Whistler Waldorf May Fair thanks

On behalf of the Whistler Waldorf Parent Council, I would like to thank all who participated in our annual Children's May Fair. Despite the cold temps, it was a day of fun with stilts and jump-rope making, craft activities, carnival games, and great food!

A special thank you to our community sponsors: Aphrodite's Pies in Vancouver, Rona Whistler, Home Hardware, Nesters Market, Sargent Poppers Kettle Corn, Ira Pettle, and Senka Florist. 

Jen Dodds
Community Development Manager

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