Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for the week of October 20th

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Memorial bench policy needs second look

I am alarmed regarding the proposed clawback of memorial benches as planned (by the Resort Municipality of Whistler).

When we worked with (former RMOW general manager of resort experience) Keith Bennett on a bench dedicated to our deceased children, Kelty and Riley, we assumed as is common with park benches in general, or golf course benches, that they would continue in perpetuity.

Certainly give some mercy, if in fact you decide to change the rules, to grandfather in those benches already dedicated to our loved ones.

My deceased are no more important than others, but if the following thought can sway your opinion, here it is: When you lose someone young, especially a child who has never had the chance to make a mark on this earth, never had a complete education, never had a lover or a family, never had a chance to reach his or her potential, your worst fear is that they will be forgotten.

We chose that bench because our kids grew up here and it was within a short distance of our home. We have helped our community as best as we could and in turn all we ask for our community to leave a legacy for our beloved children.

Think long and hard about the people you are going to affect with your future decision on this.

In addition I would like to add two points: Andy Szocs, a board member of The Kelty Patrick Dennehy Foundation and local philanthropist, took a special interest in our children's bench on Green Lake and contributed considerable dollars to set up a well-designed basalt shrine to help the location have special meaning. Our foundation's name is subtly etched in the anchor rock.

Because of its attractive design and natural beauty, several local and out-of-towners have made a practice of visiting there to meditate and pay tribute.

Those not familiar with our foundation have looked up our website and have called or contacted us, offering gratitude not only for the serenity of the resting place, but also tying in the remembrance of mental health and our two children's struggle with the disease.

Kerry Dennehy


Festival success due to amazing support

It wasn't too long ago that I wasn't sure I would have been able to write the words, another year, another festival. They come naturally now as if there is no question we will be back, bigger and stronger next year.

When the day closed, Oct. 16, so did the 15th year of what has become the annual Whistler Writers Festival.

There were so many times we wanted to call it quits (over the years). The effort to put on such an event grew too much and the funds available to make it happen were too limited. But what was once unthinkable has been made possible through the dedication and hard work of our small organizational team. We kept going. Our audience base grew, sponsors and supporters came on board, and others took notice and wanted to help.

And again and again I was reminded that no one succeeds alone.

I would like to acknowledge Rebecca Wood Barrett, who as festival manager and my sounding board, puts up with me day in and day out and has never wavered despite our incredible workload.

(This year) Nancy Routley led a team of volunteer captains including: Nicola Bentley, Katherine Fawcett, Sara Leach, Libby McKeever, Karen McLeod, Sue Oakey and Sandy Pyatt. The captains were assisted by some of the most incredible volunteers any event organizer could ask for including: Karen Barnes, Alix Nicols, Bev Brown, Ann Johnson, Cathy Speedy, Pat Dagg, Susan Knoll, Sheila Sherkat, Darel Lee, Dea Lloyd, Laurie Cooper, Chris Patrick, Josie Chuback, Al and Marion Ashby, Geoff Swan, Helga Ruiterman, Victoria Swayze, Adam Adams, Jordana Shier, Karen Demoe, Kimiko Taguchi, Astin Cole-Piper, Mieke Prummel, Hailey Guille, and Laurie vanLeeuwen.

Pat Mackenzie was our go-to person for the Authors in the Schools program. I am very proud of this program. It would not have gotten off the ground without Pat's help and the support of the teachers and principals in the corridor. Thank you!

I'd like to thank Mary MacDonald for keeping our social media buzzing, Libby McKeever for making sure all the libraries in the province had our brochures and posters, helping with festival school and library programming and driving authors, Nicole Fitzgerald for juggling our blog, Brigitte Mah for helping us with signage and easels, Claire Piech for managing our communications efforts, and Ruth Barrow from Whistler Creative for handling our website and making our festival program and all our collateral sing! Thanks to all of you who read our authors' books and wrote such wonderful reviews for our local papers.

Thanks also to the actors and musicians who took the written word and added different perspectives to make our reading events extraordinarily special.

The Whistler Writing Society is a non-profit group. On July 1st, we became a charitable organization. Our budget is completely allocated to covering the costs of the annual Whistler Writers Festival, the Writer in Residence Program, and other literary events throughout the year, including the Authors in the Schools program.

We could not do what we do without the generous support and vision of a number of sponsors including: the Resort Municipality of Whistler and the Province of British Columbia, The Writers Union of Canada, The Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, BC Lotteries, Access Copyright, The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, the Quebec Writers Federation, the League of Canadian Poets, Scotiabank, Marquis Printing, Vivalogue, Stonebridge of Whistler, Vision Pacific, Penguin Random House Canada, BurntStew, Pasta Lupino, Whistler Public Library, Arts Whistler, Tourism Whistler, the Fairmont Hotel, Armchair Books, Audain Art Museum, Brewhouse, Whistler Wired, Pacific Coach Lines, Goodwin Studios, and Whistler Creative.

I'd also like to thank those who specifically sponsored our Comedy Quickies event either through prizes or donations to our silent auction, including Bear Necessities, Scandinave Spa, Massey Pottery Gallery, West Coast Float, Nikki Best, Arbutus Routes, Cornucopia, Black 2 Blond, Fathom Stone, Olives, Heidi the Artist, Ziptrek, Cambridge Cleaning, Escape! Whistler, Whistler Film Festival, Fort Berens Estate Winery, Whistler Roasting Company, and Whistler Bungee.  Thank you.

Last but not least, I'd like to thank Mountain FM (media sponsor of Comedy Quickies), Pique Newsmagazine, the Whistler Question, the Globe and Mail, The Vancouver Sun, and Quill and Quire for their wonderful coverage leading up to our festival. Thanks guys. I appreciate the support. 

And now we begin planning for 2017. We have 365 glorious days. It seems like a luxury to have so much time ahead of us, but the 2017 festival will be here in no time. Mark your calendars, Oct. 12 to 15, 2017. 

Thanks again for all the support. I appreciate it.

Stella Harvey

Festival Director

Ladles of thanks

Thank you to all the generous restaurants and fabulous soup chefs who participated in the 2016 Whistler Waldorf School Harvest Soup Contest.

Milestones graciously hosted and welcomed the dedicated crowd of soup tasters and voters on their patio, overlooking the farmers' market stroll.

It was a close race for the coveted Golden Ladle with mouth-watering entries: Mongolie Grill's Hot & Sour Soup; Table 19's Chilliwack Summer Corn and Five Spiced Duck; Four Season's Alaskan King Crab and Butternut Squash Bisque; Tapley's Turkey Pot Pie; Milestones' Truffled Chanterelle Bisque with Parmesan and Chives, The Hilton's Pollo Borracho Tortilla Soup; Olives' Creamy Pumpkin; and Alta Bistro's Smoked Spiced Pemberton Pumpkin Soup.

This year the voters' choice went to Nick Kennedy and Steven Lane of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler for their Roast B.C. Squash with Braised Short Ribs and Crispy Onions!  

Great thanks also to our generous sponsors, Nesters Market for the buns and Slopeside Supply for their donation of compostable bowls and spoons.

Also, thank you as always to all of the volunteers, the Whistler Farmers Market and everyone who makes the Annual Harvest Soup Contest a Thanksgiving weekend tradition. See you next year!

Jen Dodds

Community Development Manager, Whistler Waldorf School

The Turkey Sale Bonanza is over: now what?

The snow on Thanksgiving in Whistler was a reminder to be hopeful about our future.

We can all make choices in our daily lives that protect the places and the people we love.

Ski Heaven wants to make it easy for you to do the right thing, because caring for the environment isn't a sacrifice — it's an opportunity. We'll pick up your unwanted skis and include them in the production of a custom project. Those skinny skis you've been holding onto for years can become something new. When skis are transformed, your mountain adventures come to life. No need for long, tearful goodbyes to old, well-loved gear.

It's hard to talk about that "best season ever" when skis are buried in your garage — or a landfill. Bring those stories into your living room in beautiful and unexpected ways.

Big thanks to Whistler Blackcomb for their growing commitment to sustainability, and for encouraging people to support local, purposeful art. Visit skiheaven.ca for details.

Randi Kruse


Seniors need a gathering spot

I think it's about time we had a seniors' centre in Whistler.

Somewhere central, like Spruce Grove or Meadow Park, with an area for lawn bowling in summer.

Vancouver has an area for seniors in Stanley Park and in New Westminster, there is Moody Park.

We had a seniors' centre in Spring Creek but it was disbanded?

We have lots of pubs for people, but not everyone likes to sit and drink.

I enjoy our bike trails and trails in Lost Lake, and I can ski in the winter, but I think we could do better for the seniors in Whistler.

I have been a resident since 1975.

Robert McKean


Leash your dog

Over the past month, unleashed dogs have killed two turkeys and numerous chickens on private property bordering regularly travelled trails near the rail line in Pemberton.

The access to these trails is via private property that has been graciously offered for use by an agreement with the Pemberton Valley Trails Association and the SLRD by property owners.

Numerous signs along these trails advise users that they are either on private property, or beside private property, and to leash their dogs and keep them under control. Unfortunately, too many travellers unleash their dogs within range of livestock resulting in incidents like those mentioned.   

Vet bills in the hundreds or thousands of dollars from dogs biting horses and dogs chasing herds of cattle are among other reports that we've heard. As a result of these incidents, we have already lost access to some riverside trails.

Landowners are frustrated, as they fear for the safety of their livestock and the possibility of having to protect their animals as is permitted by the BC Livestock Act.  

Hundreds of us benefit from the use of the valley trail network and it would be a shame to lose more access because a few dog owners cannot keep their dogs under control.

Leash your dogs and keep them under control. Don't let yours be the dog that goes after livestock or wildlife when you're on the trails.

Anne West

Board of Directors, Pemberton Valley Trails Association

Time for the 'Stop Trudeau Stickers'

I wanted to congratulate Leslie Anthony on his great article "Reviewing reviews," from the Pique, Oct. 13.

We do not agree on much but we see eye to eye on the Harper Agenda being implemented by Trudeau (Site C, LNG etc.) or even expanded (deportations and citizen revocations up 300 per cent etc.).

Mr. Anthony promoted (enjoyed) the Harper stickers on all the stop signs.

Shall we print a new, updated set for Mr. Trudeau? Just "JT" would probably work.

I can drop some off at the Pique for him.  

Perri Domm