Changing May long weekend off to good start
After having experienced this past long weekend as an owner living in the village, I would like to offer hearty thanks to all those who helped to start the move towards a new atmosphere in Whistler.
Yes, there were some roving groups of young people, and some rowdiness and even some altercations, but overall the message of GO Fest got through, and we experienced far less vandalism than last year.
Thanks, then, to council for its foresight, to bylaw and the RCMP for keeping things contained (sometimes even as they put themselves in harm's way), to the countless volunteers who helped with organizing, and to those citizens, staff and visitors who helped afterwards with cleanup and litter removal etc.
It will take some time, but the course has been set. I made a point of walking through the village several times over the weekend, as I'm sure did many other "ordinary citizens," to ensure that the village did not appear to have been surrendered to anyone.
I think as well that the media could do a much better job than they have in supporting the new initiatives. As a simple example, the Pique (May 22) had a somewhat "lamenting" editorial this week about the time it will take to change things, and the headline (page 12) about the weekend didn't just end after, "Long weekend deemed a success," but had to tag on the usual negative media slant by adding "despite violent incidents."
As former Ontario Premier Bob Rae is once claimed to have said: "The media is so negative, if my dog drowned, the headline would be, "Bob's Dog Can't Swim."
Bruce Thom, Q.C.
I would like to respond to Clare Ogilvie's article (Editorial 'May long weekend... a work in progress') in the Pique of May 22.
There was one error that I feel needs to be addressed. She states, "You only need to take a look at Facebook comments to see the finger pointing at the South East Asian community." It is my understanding that it is the South Asian community comprised mostly of India (and sometimes Pakistan and Afghanistan), which is being identified, and not the South East Asian community which would be Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Burma, the Philippines and Indonesia.
Very different peoples and cultures. The latter as far as I know do not carry the same reputation in Surrey or in the Vancouver area as do the former.
Just wanted to make that clarification. As much as racial profiling is unfortunate, the truth is that we as individuals are ambassadors for our cultures and as humans we naturally make generalizations about others based on our experiences, but hopefully not based on ignorance.
(Editor's note: Thank you to Ms. Woo for writing in about this issue. She is indeed correct and we regret the error.)
Block the road in May
With all the bad ideas and money spent on the May long (weekend) it's amazing that the council and police haven't tried the only thing that would actually work to deter the punks and wanabees from the city... road blocks! What a revelation! Road blocks on the coast for the Soundwave (Festival) resulted in numerous arrests and drug seizures. All the festivals and cash in the world will not change the trend. Stopping these fools before they get to the village is key. ANY violence is not acceptable. The Mayor is mistaken when saying it was a good weekend overall. It was another stain on the torn and dirty cloak that is May long.
Wounded Warrior thanks
Last week, Creekbread hosted a fundraiser event for Wounded Warriors Canada — an organization helping Canadian Soldiers suffering from PTSD and physical trauma.
It was a great success and a big thank you is in order for the local businesses that helped make it happen!
Thank you to Salomon Store, Skiis and Bikes, Excess Backcountry, Chromag, Creekbread, Scandinave Spa, Back in Action Physiotherapy, Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre, and Escape Route.
Your donations were hugely appreciated.
Thieves among us
Stephanie is a 15-year-old aspiring bike racer. Last weekend she went to Port Angeles, Washington, to compete at the North West Cup. She won her category and was only 8 seconds back from first place in the Open Women's Category. Quite a feat for someone so young. It was her first time on her downhill bike that she had just bought... a 2010 Rocky Mountain Flatline that she raised the money for herself by making and selling jewelry. She returned home late Monday night and carefully locked her bike less than a foot from the front door. By 8 a.m. the lock had been cut and her bike was gone. The bike had never been kept at the house before and it was not visible from the street or from the sidewalk. What a lesson for a young aspiring athlete - that no one is to be trusted. Stephanie has many upcoming races that she is registered for but cannot race without a bike.
Stephanie worked very hard for that bike. It is not new but it is precious to her.
We are hoping that someone has a change of heart and will return the bike with no questions asked. Give a girl her dream back – please.
Yield At Alpine
I would like to thank some of the residents of Alpine for helping me decide to purchase a dash cam! I've found it exciting these past many years driving southbound and passing Alpine, trying to guess if the vehicle yielding to traffic on Highway 99 was actually going to obey the rules of the road, or try to race through the bus stop and cut off southbound traffic. After being forced into evasive maneuvers on multiple occasions, I will now have great YouTube footage of the incident when it happens again! Hopefully it will be something to laugh at but if not, at least it will be informative for the RCMP accident investigators.
Library friends turn out again
Once again, Whistler proved how much they read by donating an extraordinary number of books for the Giant Used Book Sale. And then Whistlerites and visitors came in droves to buy up summer reading, generously donating a whopping total of $5,120 for the Friends of the Whistler Public Library for library needs. Thank you to everyone who donated and bought!
As always, huge thank yous go out to IGA Marketplace for allowing us to hold the sale there, and TD Canada Trust and Nesters Market for being collection depots. We could not do it without you!
This was, I believe, our 26th sale, and with a team of volunteers to sort and transport books, it is a well-oiled machine. Thanks go out to them all: Moe Richmond, Susan Annand, Jessie Pendygrasse and Maureen Chaddock, the keep-it-all-together core, plus Verna MacDonald, Elaine Graham, Judi Spence, Simone Chrichton, Ophra Buckman, Jinny Ladner, Jane Clifford, Alison Hunter, Jacqui Tyler, Marianna Orr, and the guys: John Richmond, Bill Janyk, Bob Calladine and Rick Reid.
Thanks to the Question and Pique for getting the word out and to Dan of Armchair Books for his generous donation as well.
Happy reading until next time in the fall!
Organizer and the Friends of the Whistler Public Library
It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter. Today, Citta' will close its doors after 30 great years in Whistler. Such a young age with so much promise. It's true, "Only the good die young." We at Citta' had hoped to be here for another 30 years.
I feel extremely privileged to have been the general manager for almost eight years plus my early days bartending. I have had the pleasure to work with, and meet, some of the nicest people around.
I will miss seeing them daily. I will miss the random chance of seeing a returning Whistlerite who wants to reflect on their time in Whistler.
I share the same story as so many others. I had my first beer upon arriving for a six-month ski trip 22 years ago. I met my wife at Citta'.
I look forward to seeing everyone at The Stones Edge, Brickworks and Brandy's.
On a final note, I cannot express my gratitude to the staff that stayed until the end and to the Citta' ownership group.