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Nita Lake tranquility threatened

The proposed anchor hotel development being lobbied for at Nita Lake sounds wonderful on paper – "Oh yes, it will clean up the area and raise our property values." Great, so we get to pay more taxes!

Unfortunately, the rise in taxes will be the least of our worries. Most of us who have properties on Creekside have owned them for a long time, some up to 35 years. We have enjoyed the quieter aspects of Whistler. The lakeside of Creekside has always been residentially zoned except for a few lodges, which have been respectful in size. There is a peaceful ambience with very little hustle and bustle. And remember, this is what makes Creekside so special. Its beauty has not yet been disturbed.

The proposed Nita Lake Hotel is, in my opinion, far too big for the existing site. The sprawling size and density of the hotel will devastate the existing feeling of openness. There are few open spaces like this – flat, residential areas next to a lake – left in Whistler.

If the municipality is not going to turn it into a park for all to enjoy then may they at least respect the 1991 community plan which recommends an inn or lodge, or at the very most a small hotel, for that corner of the lake. A lot of work and input went into this plan with the intent of guarding this special spot. I believe the plan was made for the best interests of the community and therefore should be followed.

A mega-resort hotel with 200+ bed units does not fall within the guidelines of the plan. A lodge or small hotel can still be accredited five stars. It’s not the size of the accommodation; it’s what it offers its clientele. Europe has them sprinkled all over – beautiful, sophisticated and discrete small hotels that suit the environment. My hope is that council will remind itself of the 1991 long term plan and follow its guidelines.

For more information please contact the Whistler Planning Department at 604-932-5535 or 1-866-932-5535. Or e-mail www.whistler.ca/council/

Veronica Ross

Whistler

This letter was addressed to Dan Mayberry of the Ministry of Transportation and Highways

I am writing to protest the planned 8 p.m. closure of Highway 99 to Whistler in July 2003. No allowance has been made to enable visitors arriving on European flights, which usually arrive at 6-7p.m.,to get to Whistler on the same day. These visitors will have the added expense of a Vancouver hotel and will have their vacation shortened by two days.

Incidentally, it seems strange that, when asked, our MLA and some other officials said the July closure was to be at 10 p.m. and were surprised to learn otherwise. Was a change made without consultation?

One visitor who will be arriving from Finland said that he "would have to download the Finnish government’s advisory for travel in Third World countries." What a way to welcome tourists to Whistler in July!

I implore you to please change the closure at least to 10 p.m..

Robina Greatrex.

Whistler

Pemberton has a real trash problem which has just gotten worse. Just one day after the McDonald's opening, garbage was already strewn along Vine Road and in the fields surrounding it. As I walked into town along Portage Road today I noticed several more McDonald's bags are already accumulating along the road side. I will never understand how people can be such pigs, having so little respect for our beautiful town. Maybe we will never be able to completely eliminate litterbugs, but I wonder if providing more disposal options could help the problem. Perhaps McDonald’s, along with other businesses having an abundance of packaging, could provide more (bear-proof) garbage cans in the areas surrounding them. After all, keeping our town clean and beautiful can only help our image and their business!

Joanne Vanderwerf

Pemberton

On March 7th, the Grade 7 students at Pemberton Secondary were able to spend the day on Whistler Mountain for free. Heidi Parker of Whistler-Blackcomb, along with her entourage of volunteer instructors and other Ski School staff took the students up the hill for the day.

Josh said the best part of Friday was that he doesn’t get to ski very often so it was a lot of fun. Amy used the opportunity to learn how to snowboard, successfully making seven connecting turns before the end of the day. Well done! Cady was able to ski with an old friend who has moved to Whistler and thought the red busses we were transported on were much better than the school busses. The instructors reported that the students were "wicked" and that it was a tremendous day with a great group of kids.

All of the Grade 7 students who participated, along with their teachers, thank Whistler-Blackcomb Ski School for the effort they made to give us such a great opportunity.... and the weather co-operated!

Angela Stott,

for Pemberton Secondary School

Word of protest

This letter is in support for the Canadian government and its refusal to send our men and women to Iraq. It's not too often you see Ottawa not bend in the hot air coming from the south.

To Mr. Harper and the Alliance Party, who say Canada should heel to the Americans or suffer a bleak finical future: Don't worry Steve, as long as this great nation holds such rich natural resources to reap Uncle Sam will continue to knock on our door!

To those who argue our safety depends on the United States: I agree, but it also depends on the other members of the United Nations and other free countries of the world. If one country steps out of line then it should be a world voice that gives the scolding, not of one or two. As long as the U.S. holds the same foreign policies and "our way or the highway" attitude we will not be able to make that a reality. Most of Canada views the world through multinational glasses. When the fight comes to the Great White North, our bacon will be saved by a United Coalition of the Planet.

The regime in Iraq had to go, and the leader brought to justice. To that there is no argument. As I watch the Americans roll through Iraq, the more I think this could have been done without military action. Using weapons of mass destruction to find weapons of mass destruction doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, and as it turns out millions of other people around the world.

The root cause of terrorism – the fight I thought we were waging – is poverty. On March 21 the U.S. Army reported it dropped 1,500 bombs and launched 800 cruise missiles onto/into Iraq. One day’s worth of bombing! At $1,000,000+(US) a piece for the missiles alone. I would urge Mr. Bush to stop sending million dollar metal into Baghdad, and start sending million dollar aid packages into the Middle East and Africa.

We hope the soldiers are home with their families soon, and we wish the humanitarian agencies the best of luck on their mission of mercy.

Mr. and Mrs. Schroeder

Whistler

I have basically kept my opinion to myself, regarding the Untied States invasion of Iraq. But after reading your opening remarks of March 21 issue, and observing the heightened anti-war protests, I will speak out in support of George Bush and his troops.

In order that you understand my sentiments, I will take you back to World War II and the month's preceding the declaration of war by Great Britain and its Allied Forces. The world at that time was following a policy of appeasement, just as the UN has for the past 12 years been hoping Saddam Husseim would co-operate and disarm. Not until George Bush issued an ultimatum to co-operate or face an invasion did he begin to co-operate, albeit half-heartedly.

The Allies continued to appease, Hitler invaded Poland, still diplomacy went on. Next came the take over of France and then the Netherlands. The wake-up call sounded and war was officially declared.

I was a student in junior high school at that time. My two brothers, 18 and 19, volunteered for service. I also witnessed three uncles go off to war, they were married men with families. Patriotic fever ran high, but as the troop train carried these men off to Halifax and then on to England, it was so hard not to cry, knowing full well they too were crying inside. They were among the lucky ones. They returned six years later. Still young men in years, but old men from what they had to see and do.

The United States did not enter the war for two years. The courageous Allied Forces, including Canadians, were under the command of Field Marshall Montgomery, they were badly equipped in comparison to the Nazi war machine. The Battle of Britain showed the strategy of having a few planes ward off a huge German Luftwaffe, a huge victory. I would like to take the liberty to quote, as you did, to help clarify what took place. This is a personal message from the commander in chief to all troops under his command:

1. The time has come to deliver a terrific blow to the enemy in Western Europe. The blow will be struck by the combined land, sea and air forces of the Allies. Together constituting a great Allied team under the command of General Dwight D Eisenhower.

2. On the eve of the great invasion I send my best wishes to every single soldier in the Allied team. To us has been given the honour of striking a blow for freedom which will live in history; and for the better day ahead which will speak in pride of our doings. We have a great righteous cause. Let us pray that "the lord mighty in battle" will be forth with our armies and his special providence will aid us in the struggle.

3. I want every serviceman to know I have great confidence in the outcome and success of the operations we are about to begin. With stout hearts and enthusiasm for the contest, let us go forth to victory.

4. And as we go into battle let us recall the words a famous soldier spoke to many years ago. "He either fear his fate too much/ or his desserts are small,/ who does not put it to the touch,/ to win or loose it all."

5. Good luck to you and good hunting on the mainland of Europe

— B.L Montgomery, General, 21 Army Group

Following another 12 months of battle the 3 rd Canadian Infantry Division and the 2 nd Canadian Armoured Brigade fought their way 9 km inland from Juno Beach by the end of D-Day. Together with the 4 th Canadian Armoured Division they assumed command of the eastern part of the Allied front.

Canada suffered 18,444 casualties during the Normandy campaign and will forever be remembered in Europe for the sacrifice and courage of their troops in their fight to free Europe from Nazi oppression. 18,444 young men paid the supreme sacrifice that the world might be free again.

When I see the youthful faces of the anti-war protest, I see a fortunate youth who have never had to make many sacrifices. I see a hopeful youth who seem to believe if we march often enough, rant and rail over the unjust action of the United States, that some how the egomaniacal monsters of the world will go away. Sorry kids, like all bad weeds they will grow and choke out the very freedom we hold dear.

The lucky ones came home from World War II. My two brothers met on a troop ship coming home, not knowing until that moment whether the other had survived. They were now seasoned veterans, aged 24 and 25. The troop train which arrived in Mission bringing them back to us was a scene which has stayed with me for a lifetime.

Yes, "Lest we forget."

I too want peace not war. But as history has shown it will not come about by appeasement. I thank god for our neighbour to the south who is prepared to defend our freedom and free those nations living under tyranny. I thank god for their taxpayers who will pay not only for the cost of provisions for their forces, but for the rebuilding of a free Iraq.

I thank god for the American, British, Australian, Dutch and other Coalition Forces who are in the front lines. May god be with them. May casualties be few on both sides. May the Iraqi people know the compassion which will be bestowed on them by the Coalition troops, who as I write have set the wheels in motion for aid.

The countries which our young men fought for and against is a real paradox. Germany, who attempted to conquer the world, now refuse to help, using the UN as a guise. France, whom we died to free, have even threatened a UN veto. Thank god the Dutch people have longer memories. Our own French Canadian Prime Minister has disgraced the memories of our wartime heroes. He is deserting America when they need us. He must be smug in knowing that if the need arise the US of A will never desert us.

So peace activists, if you really want to help, perhaps you could sponsor events to raise funds for the victims of war; investigate how to aid the battle against terrorism, being vigilant and energetic; contact relief organizations to find out the greatest need and help alleviate that need.

You are not wrong to want world peace, I believe your energies are misdirected.

Gladys Phare

Pemberton

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