Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for the week of October 23rd


My two bits on Timbits

OK, so we are getting a Tim Hortons.

I have mixed feelings on this one. I guess if the owners of the franchise live in town then it would benefit our local economy in that way, plus it would provide jobs — although I'm not sure the pay would be a livable wage.

Instead of the RMOW granting Tim Hortons, a company that has its majority of shares owned by Brazilian private-equity firm 3G Capital Inc, a license to operate in Whistler it would seem to benefit locals more to see some different strategies to encourage our economy.

I would love to see locals able to start their own businesses in Creekside, but the rental rates are sky high, and if you've walked through recently you'll be greeted by many "For Lease" signs.

Now if you do have a business idea and you're willing to pay up you still may end up with no space.

Recently I contacted the realtors on one of those for lease signs with my proposition to rent their space. I was told "no" because they didn't feel it would fit with Creekside's goal of having tourism-based businesses.

My idea would have been a benefit for locals and tourists, but it didn't sell food, or tours, or souvenirs, or ski gear, nor did it give tourists a place to sleep, so it was out.

And over a year later the same space sits empty along with many others, because it's just a line on some foreign company's income statement, and it's such a small loss it doesn't even register.

How about some creative solutions, what about a business style WHA for commercial rental space? Could we not collectively acquire some spots?

How about changing some bylaws so we can have mobile vending? I'd love to see some food trucks in Lots 4 and 8. Instead of letting the dollars from the drive-up-for-the-day market go to Tim Hortons here, and in Squamish, why not capture that audience before they start the journey back to Vancouver or Seattle?

I don't see this taking away from the village operations if these guests are heading straight to their vehicles and home.  They may be more inclined to spend on an awesome organic piece of pizza, or a taco, or a smoked meat sandwich made by someone who calls Whistler home, rather than pulling off the highway in Creekside causing more traffic delays and filling up on Timbits that were pre made in Ontario and then "baked and finished" in Whistler.

I know a diverse business base is best, and I'm not against Tim Hortons. It just seems to me that the scale is not balanced.

Tara Geach


Flu season farce

Nature created just four seasons. And "Flu Season" isn't one of them.

In fact, the term was probably dreamed up by some marketing genius on the payroll of the pharmaceutical industry with the express intention of making you feel scared.

Why? Because they sell a lot more drugs and vaccines that way, (the stress alone probably makes some people sick).

So next time you hear some shill yapping about "Flu Season," have a laugh and remind yourself that only a small fraction of Canadians gets the flu every year (estimates go as low as five per cent).

And that with some very simple techniques — wash your hands regularly, cough or sneeze into your elbow, and don't burn out your immune system with too much skiing, partying and work — you'll probably be one of the 80-90 per cent of Canadians who is flu-free this winter.

"Flu Season?" Ha! Bring on the snow.

Van Clayton Powel


Community reaches out

In December 2013 I was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, it was a shock and hard to accept as I don't have a family history of cancer.

I have been otherwise an active and healthy person — well now I am a survivor and will keep fighting.

To all my friends, families, coworkers, hotels, restaurants, stores, and creative people, thanks for your kindness, generosity, donations and support — all of you touched my heart, and my family back in Peru.

I appreciate the hard work of Jody Warren and Courtney Brown working with the community of Whistler for making this event successful. I would like to mention all the kind people who stand up for me, but the list is way too long, so I will just keep all of you in my heart. Thank You!

Thanks to my son Nilo, who was with me all the time, and my family here in Whistler, and my mother in Peru for being with me on the path that I am going through: all your love has helped me in my recovery.

Thanks to Olga Achiardi and Bea Gonzales for taking care of my transportation and Lily Antunes for giving me shelter during my stays in Vancouver. My mom likes to say "that whatever we possess become of double value when we share it with others."

Thanks to the Dubh Linn Gate and Pan Pacific for hosting the (fundraising) event and their staff for serving on that busy night. A huge thanks to Nesters, which supported me from the beginning: thanks to you I can buy healthy food.

Finally, thanks for all your prayers and hugs from my little ones at the daycare — I am very grateful from the bottom of my heart for all the support: God bless all of you.

Courtney Brown, for Soledad Pena

Whistler Children's Centre

(Editor's note: The fundraising tally to date is $18,000 from more than 100 silent auction prizes.) 

Festival just keeps getting better

2014 marked the 13th anniversary of the Whistler Readers and Writers festival. And what an incredible event it was.

Wrapping up this past weekend, the festival hosted thirty-five guest authors and close to 1,500 participants to an array of literary offerings including readings and social events for the public, and developmental workshops for emerging and experienced writers. 

We introduced three new reading events, experimented with concepts like Cooks with Books, and the opening night Literary Cabaret. Given your overwhelming support of these new events, we believe you liked these enhancements. 

For all those who participated, I know the weekend restored their faith in the power of the written word.

Whistler is a very special community. When the festival was in its infancy, so many of you came out to see what we were up to. You liked what you saw, and told your friends. And you kept coming back. Your support helped expand our base. And we have grown ever since. Thank you for sticking with us.

The festival could not get off the ground without the single-minded focus of our small, but mighty, organizational team. I'd like to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of: Rebecca Wood Barrett, Katherine Fawcett, Sara Leach, Mary MacDonald, Libby McKeever, Sue Oakey, Nicole Fitzgerald, Nancy Routley, Stephen Vogler and Dee Raffo. Thank you. It is an honour and a great pleasure to work alongside you.

I'd also like to thank front-line volunteers who came through for us in so many different ways I can't begin to list here. Thank you, Pat McKenzie, Karen McLeod, Allison Hunter, Ande Brown, Anne Crowley, Brenda Montani, Clare Gordon, Diane Duggan, Janet Roden, Jaye Einarson, John Alexander, Julia Aleynikova, Mike Duggan, Normand Harvey, Patricia Dragg, Susie Frank, Suzanne Malone, Brian Belsham and Sonya Furst-Yeun.

I'd like to acknowledge the staff of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler for their hospitality and exceptional service. They were committed to the success of the festival and made it seamless.

Thanks also to Millennium Place and the Whistler Public Library. It's wonderful to host events in such beautiful facilities with staff so committed to excellence.

The Whistler Writers Group is a non-profit group. Our budget is completely allocated to covering the costs of the annual Whistler Readers and Writers Festival, the Writer in Residence Program, and other literary events throughout the year, including the authors-in-schools program. We could not do what we do without the generous support 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, The Whistler Public Library, The Whistler Arts Council, The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, Armchair Books (the best bookstore in the world bar none), Goodwin Studios, Whistler Creative, Access Copyright and Gibbons Life. Thank you so very much.

I would also like to thank both the Pique and the Question for their wonderful coverage leading up to our festival. Thanks guys. I appreciate the support.

And now we begin planning for next year's festival. Yikes, did I actually say those words? Mark your calendars, October 16-18, 2015.

Stella Harvey

Founder, Whistler Readers and Writers Festival

I might run you over...

I'm going to run you over,

You will never ski, snowboard or mountain bike again,

Your family and friends will be devastated,

I will be mortified,

There will be an enquiry and no one's lives will be the same again,

All because you were walking on the highway at night with no lights or reflective clothing.

Stay safe.  Use a light.  Wear light-coloured or reflective clothing.  Don't walk on the highway at night — the Valley Trail runs the entire length of the valley.  

Let's all enjoy the winter.

Sarah Bourne


Harvest soup contest thanks

The Whistler Waldorf School would like to thank its supporters, parent and student volunteers and the soup tasting community for making the 13th Annual Harvest Soup Contest a huge success!

We are so thankful to have such support from these local businesses: Mountain FM 102.1, Whistler Show Services, Event Rental Works and the amazing restaurants and their teams, Milestones, Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa, Tandoori Grill Whistler, Aphrodites Organic Cafe & Pie Shop, The Green Mustache Organic Juice, smoothies & Live Food Bar, Tapley's Pub, Longhorn Saloon, Buffalo Bill's Bar & Grill, Dubh Linn Gate and The Fairmont Chateau Whistler.  

The winning soup this year was Laughing Crow's Mother Hubbard Squash from Milestones!

Tracy Bruns, events manager

Whistler Waldorf School

Halloween fun

The Birken Recreational and Cultural Society is inviting everyone to two free family events in Birken.

On Saturday Oct. 25 (12-4 p.m.) we are organizing the Birken Fall Fair at Gates Lake Community Park. This event will have live music by Hugh Borris and Friends, and the K Family Band. As well, there will be games, pumpkin carving, vendors, and a hot dog roast. Please bring a dish of food to share with friends and neighbours.

On Friday Oct. 31 join us on Stanley Road for fireworks. The fun will start at dark. Remember your costumes and flashlights.

For more information about either event email Erin Stewart Elliott at Erin_stewart1@hotmail.com.

See you in Birken!

Erin Stewart Elliott


Skateboard park needs support

The Whistler Skateboard Association will be hosting a fundraiser at Creekbread on Nov. 6 (with) part of the pizza sales from 5-9 p.m. donated to the outdoor skatepark.

Artists Darren Camplin, Stan Matwychuk, Dave "Pepe" Petko, Kris "Kups" Kupskay, Brian Caissie, and Whitegold Snowboards, have all donated original works of art currently (on show) at the Millennium Place until the end of November. Stop by the lobby and check it out. 

At the Creekbread event we will have a raffle and silent auction with prizes from: Birdhouse Skateboards, Herschel Supply Co., RDS Skate Supply, Monster Energy, Billabong, Whitegold Snowboards, VonZipper, Sk8 Cave, The Circle, Evolution, The Board Room, Artschool Skateboards, Robs Auto, Howe Sound Brewing, Skullcandy, Sandboxland, Burton Snowboards, Heart Films and Spy.

Thanks goes to Creekbread for hosting us, Off Axis Designs, Gnarcore Media, Brian Hockenstein, Benny Stoddard and underexposed agency ltd. for their contribution to help make this event possible.

Let's come together and help raise some funds to show the municipality how much our skatepark means to us.

To get involved email lenny@underexposedagency.com

Lenny Rubenovitch and Mikey Klinkhamer

Whistler Skateboard Association