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Letters To The Editor

This week's letters

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Larco the real winner

While following the London Drugs saga with interest and taking into account all sides of the issue, I think that there is one component that has been very much overlooked and should be brought to light.

Larco, one of the largest landlords in Whistler, is the owner of the contentious space that is at the heart of this matter. They acquired this space, zoned recreational, in exchange for bed units. It is to be used for recreational use to benefit the community. If this space is rezoned Larco would be very happy campers.

At present they have no tenant and with the rent they have been asking not much hope of one in the near future. So they will go from no rent to a fully rented space with no further obligation to the community. Does that sound like a sweet deal? You bet it does.

Larco has gone 10 years without spending any money on the space — some people have tried but failed to make a go of it — and now they are going to be laughing all the way to the bank.

This is the only space compatible, in the village, for London Drugs. That is a fait a complie, so who wins and who loses in this deal? Not rocket science!

Why can we not come up with a plan that benefits our community? Larco should pay for the rezoning in some form or other.

  How about a capital contribution equivalent to the present value of the first 10 yearÕs gross rent for the rezoned space? This money would be put towards indoor community recreational space/activities exclusively. Maybe an extension to Meadow Park — a second ice rink or more squash courts?

I would ask that the community think about this side of the deal and less about saving 5 cents off a tube of toothpaste!

Alix Nicoll

Whistler

 

Running for cover

I was disappointed to read that council voted to freeze consideration of the zoning bylaw, which would have limited commercial space in the village, Village North and the Upper Village to 5,000 square feet (except for Councillor Melamed, go Ken!).

This issue is not about retail in Whistler generally. It's not about local business viability (the Pharmasave and IGA, both in Village North, are both over 5,000 square feet, would be grandfathered under the new bylaw and are both locally owned). And it certainly does not need more study.

This is all about plugging a loophole in the zoning of the village which no one thought needed plugging until recently. It may not have been on the planning department's 2005 workplan; it ought to have been on the 1980 workplan when the CC1 zone was first crafted.

Some people may have confused this bylaw with the most unfortunate London Drugs rezoning. CouncilÕs job is to consider the issues carefully, explain your position clearly and then do the right thing. We pay you the big bucks to make the hard decisions, not to run for cover behind the "more planning" screen when faced with controversy.

I encourage mayor and council to bring this bylaw back to the table and get on with it.

Nancy Wilhelm-Morden

Whistler

 

Choice questions

Re: The choice is clear (Pique letters June 23rd)

I understand Pique should print letters from people on both sides of the London Drugs issue. However, I find it interesting that the only people writing against London Drugs seem to be the business people who may lose some money, and a few exceptions like J-L Brussac of Coquitlam who tells us the choice is clear. He calls anyone who is for London Drugs "a bunch of ignorant buffoons." It's not only that we want cheap CDs, electronics, appliances and computer supplies. It's also that we simply don't have any stores in the village that supply these items. He tells us that in Coquitlam he finds better deals for these products at other big box stores and small businesses. Well that's great for you but in Whistler Village we don't have that choice. It's either an over-priced limited selection or no selection at all.

A Hippocratic Oath for pharmacists? Are you serious? Maybe in Europe/Russia drugstores dictate what you can buy in their stores but here in Canada drugstores supply customers what they demand and leave it up to us to make our own choices. Yes, that means they sell cigarettes and stop smoking aids, also junk food and diet products. This is the joy of living in a capitalist democracy.

London Drugs might not be an essential part of my life but they would certainly enhance my quality of life in Whistler. He suggests we can't expect to have all the conveniences of a big town. We're not asking for all the conveniences but adding a store with much needed goods and services to a village that already has all the stores of any shopping center only makes good sense. He writes that there isn't a mountain or beach resort in the world with suburbs full of big cheap stores. That is just flat out wrong. Cypress, Grouse and Mount Seymour are mountain resorts right in your area with suburbia right at their bases, just to name a few. As far as beach resorts I had a hard time thinking of any that don't have suburbs full of big cheap stores. Cancun, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, Rio de Janeiro, Hawaii, L.A., Miami, Puerto Rico, Jamaica...etc. The list could go on for pages for both mountain and beach resorts.

Now that I've dismantled every point he tried to make I have two questions: With all the intelligent local letters Pique receives why do you choose to print inept letters from out of towners that have no validity? And who is the real ignorant buffoon?

Tim Gorgichuk

Whistler

 

Help appreciated

To the person who was throwing chunks of concrete around outside the 7-Eleven last Thursday night, you are officially an idiot. The 11 stitches in my forehead confirm it.

To all the people who stopped to help me when said chunk of concrete landed on my forehead, thank you. To the concerned passers-by, the guy from Domino's, paramedics Karen and Mike who were brilliant and helpful and so reassuring, Drs Stanley and De Marco at Whistler Medical Centre, the nurses and reception staff, the police officers who attended and did as much as they could; I cannot say how grateful I am to all of you for your help, care and concern. You all helped to make the random, terrible experience a bit less terrible.

Sarah Hand

Whistler

 

It takes a villageÉ

To the Community of Whistler

The expression: ÒIt takes a village to raise a childÓ applies universally. WhistlerÕs children are fortunate to live in a community that believes in these words. As we prepare for another school year-end, the staff members at Myrtle Philip Community School would like to express sincere gratitude to our community members who have taken so much pride in helping to ÒraiseÓ our students.

Our parents and our community support us where we need it most, in the classroom and on the schoolyard. Did you know that parents tirelessly provide hot lunches to our students twice a week? Did you know that parents volunteer during their workday to supervise on the playground? Did you know that parents organize school supply orders and run our recycling program? Did you know that parents take the lead in organizing our annual Fun Day and help to organize and supply our food bank? Did you realize that without parentsÕ participation, we would not be able to go on field trips that support and enrich our curriculum? Did you know that we have a Repeated Reading and Literacy Program in which parents and community members work one on one with our students in our classrooms? Did you know that our parents spend countless hours in our library helping to make it a wonderful place for our children to be?

We have had over 30 adults working with our students on literacy skills this year. This special group of volunteers is comprised of: parents, retired teachers and other community members who wanted to help our school in a meaningful way. David, Lisa, and their staff from Starbucks for example, have been coming in on their days off to volunteer in our classrooms. Myrtle Philip School is also the recipient of Literacy grants from Starbucks. We cannot think of another community that has given more or supported the education of their young children more. We truly are fortunate and the real winners here are our children.

In addition to immeasurable volunteer hours, our community also donates products and services whenever we ask. For example Nesters, the IGA and Starbucks have been very generous with food and beverages throughout the year. There are also other merchants, too many to mention, who give repeatedly from year to year to help us with our various fundraising events.

We believe that our parents and our community are all partners in helping us educate our children. Remember: ÒIt takes a village to raise a child.Ó We all have a stake in enabling a child reach his fullest potential. The MPCS staff knows that our community has embraced this ideal wholeheartedly.

Thank you Whistler.

Ron Albertin for,

The Staff of Myrtle Philip Community School

 

Moving on

The Pemberton Youth Soccer season is coming to a close and as some of you may have noticed, I have stepped down from the position of Administrator. The year has been an amazing journey and I have learned a great deal about this valley we live in. The parents, coaches and kids truly make this area a unique and delightful place to raise a family. The support that I have received from the coaches and parents has made this past year a delight and I would like to thank everyone. The soccer season allowed me to meet and get to know many great people that I never would have, if it hadnÕt been for the great game that we share.

The league has grown and begun a journey that surpasses many peopleÕs expectations and I am looking forward to watching that continue.

I would like to thank Paul for his unwavering loyalty and support throughout this year. We began this year with huge dreams and so many ideas that just starting a few of them seems incredible and he has been a true friend.

Bettina Falloon and Phill Read will be carrying on what we have begun and I wish them all the best. I know they will do a wonderful job and I also know the support they receive will be as amazing as what I received.

Val Fowler

Pemberton

 

Aid in perspective

Ms. BartoshÕs article (Are we too late to the table?) in last weekÕs Pique concerned an issue that is left out of a lot of Canadian newspapers, so I sincerely thank her for pointing out something far more important than AraxiÕs newest glowing recommendation. While I certainly agree with many of her points, she leaves out many others.

It is easy for anyone blessed to live in a ÒhaveÓ country, such as ours, to scream at the government to increase the amount of foreign aid that we send to the Òhave nots.Ó What isnÕt easy is to recognize our own personal responsibility to end poverty and hunger and do our part. IÕm worried that we think Bob GeldofÕs Live 8 is Òour part.Ó Certainly, our main trepidation shouldnÕt be that we got, as Ms. Bartosh puts it, Òasked to be a bridesmaid two days before the wedding.Ó

My real concern is that by turning AfricaÕs desperate condition into a rock show, and a poor one at that, it dumbs down the issue. It makes it seem simple: foreign aid = no more hunger. When, in fact, that is just simply not the case. Foreign aid is a baby step. Oppressive governments, poor education, and greedy corporations are just a few of the major complexities.

Rather than only calling on our politicians to make all the moves, we, ourselves, need to make a few as well. How?

DonÕt buy that new SUV that guzzles foreign oil which, potentially, is pillaged from Africa. Modify your financial investment portfolio so it does not include companies taking advantage of poor working conditions, raping foreign natural resources, and supporting corrupt military regimes. Take a month off of work, go to Tanzania, and build a house with Habitat for Humanity. If thatÕs not feasible for you, volunteer with a local organization.

Use your time, not just your money.

Look at Africa not as a financial burden for developed nations but as a stage for human compassion and action.

Joel Gook

Whistler

 

Local appreciation

Toques off to Whistler-Blackcomb for Local's Appreciation Day this last Sunday!

We had a young guest up from the Lower Mainland and before Sunday she couldn't have imagined all that can be done at a ski resort in the summer. Can't list all the activities we did but what's best is that our visitor thinks we are Sooooo generous for footing the bill.

She doesn't need to know that Intrawest was actually treating her (and us). But we know. So thanks for thinking of us locals and for the Day Out On W/B.

Dave Harkley, Marianne Corak

Pemberton

 

Fresh perspective appreciated

Kudos to Pique (Fresh takes on farming food, June 16, 2005) for Cindy Filipenko's excellent story about farming in the Pemberton Valley. I have been fortunate to visit Helmers' and Millers' farms twice this spring, for the purpose of learning not only about their organic farming practices but also their important environmental stewardship practices.

Both farms are now recognized TLC Conservation Partners, a province-wide program of The Land Conservancy of B.C. designed to provide support and recognition for farmers and ranchers who voluntarily contribute to conservation of biodiversity and natural habitat.

When consumers see the ÒbutterflyÓ label on products at Farmers' Markets, in grocery stores, in Harvest boxes, and on signs at farmersÕ gates, they know that these products are grown in British Columbia by local farmers who are committed to growing healthy food and protecting wildlife habitat.

The Pemberton Valley is a unique ecosystem, once very wild and dominated by rivers and streams. Humans have intervened to utilize the valley's exceptional growing conditions. Nevertheless, the farmers and residents in the valley clearly care for the land, wildlife and wetlands. Their commitment to sustainable agricultural practices is very reassuring. I applaud consumers, grocers, restaurants and businesses for their continued support for local farmers' products.

Ramona Scott,

Agricultural Liaison Conservation Partners Program

The Land Conservancy of B.C.

Victoria

 

Not just a Pemberton story

Hats off to you both, to Cindy Filipenko and to Pique for providing such a fabulous and interesting article (Fresh takes on farming food, Pique June 16). Although I have a vested interest in the topic (my family was highlighted in the article), I work off the farm as a Registered Massage Therapist and Paramedic most of the year and thus have access to some of the minds of Pemberton and Whistler.

The response that I have heard has been tremendous. People have been stopping me in the street to discuss the impact that this article could have on Pemberton and Whistler. In times of economic uncertainty such as these, it is inspiring to hear stories of success and innovation coming from the likes of Bruce Miller (Across the Creek) and Jordan Sturdy (North Arm Farm).

This is not just a Pemberton story. Many visitors to Whistler make day trips to Pemberton and the stronger Pemberton's soul is, the more the Whistler visitor will leave feeling happy and eager to return.

Thanks again for providing us with a wonderful read and an insight into a vibrant and growing economy.

Jennie Helmer

Pemberton

 

Comic/advertising relief

While perusing your June 23rd issue I was drawn to some interesting advertisements on page 23. First up was the Ruby Tuesday ad for cell phone accessories which implored the reader to add "a little bling bling for your ring ring." I mean come on! You can't be serious! No wonder China is going to rule the world in the next decade if they can convince us consumer-holics that we need to buy jewels for the antenna of our cellphones. How about a Paris Hilton signature mini purse with stuffed chihuahua to boot?

Just below this valuable missive is an ad for summer dog sledding with a trio of people ripping up some gnarly singletrack behind a pack of slathering hounds. Don't these furry friends get a summer vacation from their winter travails as beasts of burden?

Well I guess it's some comic relief from the ubiquitous and somewhat tiresome real estate adverts, even though I really like that condo sales slogan "An opportunity of a lifestyle."

Keep smilin'

John Inglis

Pemberton

 

The how of Whistler's E-Quotient

Whistler attracts far too many free-spirited bright and creative people ÒoptingÓ for jobs for which they are over qualified; a situation which leads to them leaving the area after a few seasons despite their love of the lifestyle. The integration of technology within businesses that serve local tourism and the local community, as suggested in last weekÕs article, is not enough to retain this precious talent pool. There are just too few opportunities and anyway too much development might crush the joy of living here.

Sustainably raising WhistlerÕs E-Quotient requires promoting start-ups that deliver value to segments of the global community and ÒhappenÓ to opt to locate in this spacious haven. Whistler needs to get real in the virtual world. The implementation of such a strategy would involve seeking government sponsorship and venture capital funding, the provision of mentorship, networks and infrastructure, and last but not least promoting Whistler as the place for businesses that can use technology to locate anywhere and serve everywhere.

Jill Shepherd

Assistant Professor

Management of Technology MBA

Simon Fraser University

& Whistler local

 

Talking trash

I bike to work from Nordic to Function when I can, and I'm appalled every time at the amount of garbage on the side of the highway. There is everything from construction waste to real estate signs to fast food containers and more. I know you can't see this as much when you drive the highway, but that doesn't mean that it's not there. It's not the best entrance to the wonderful world of Whistler, especially when you throw in the delightful aromas that greet you at ÒBodily-Function Junction.Ó Can't something be done about this? After all, I thought there was a $2,000 fine for littering. What about making the skids who come up here looking for trouble, do some community service by walking the highway collecting trash? Living in a beautiful community like this (and anywhere else for that matter), we should all be more aware of our responsibilities to keep our environment litter free.

Harvey Lim

Whistler

 

Will there even be an Olympics?

  ÒOther analysts are less sanguine. The petroleum geologist Colin Campbell calculates that global extraction will peak before 2010Ó   – The Guardian, UK ( http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/Index.html)

As we enjoy our life in the bubble that is Whistler, I invite you all to check out the above website.

I have serious doubts about not just the sustainability of this town, but the sustainability of North America. Our oil-dependent culture looks like it is coming to an end.

Crazy? Have a look and you decide. I would love to hear your opinions.

Deal With Reality Or Reality Will Deal With You.

Peter Skeels

Whistler

 

The Creation StationÕs standing ovation

WOW! We would like to send out a huge thank you to everyone for the outstanding support that we received on our grand opening night at the Creation Station. It exceeded all expectations, with over 400 people coming though the doors to be a part of the event.

It is wonderful to see people out actively supporting the arts scene in this town, and simply proves what a great community spirit Whistler really has. We also want to send out an extra special thanks to all our friends who helped make the event happen. Your time and effort are greatly appreciated and were much needed to help make Freaky Friday an event to be remembered.

We are planning to make these events a monthly occurrence involving various elements of the arts community. There will be a different theme for each show, in the attempt to keep all the local artists creating up a storm. Keep an eye on the Gallery listings for upcoming shows/themes and call for an appointment to see the current show. When the flags are up we are open for business.

Thanks again Whistler. Keep up the show of support.

KLC and Chili Thom

Whistler

 

Baseballers hit homerun

The Whistler Minor Baseball Association proudly congratulates the Whistler Spartan Major Team in earning first place in The Howe Sound Little League. The Whistler team demonstrated outstanding skills, great teamwork and most importantly excellent sportsmanship. These great kids can be very proud of their accomplishment. Credit goes to their dedicated coaches, Todd Bush, Rod Thompson and Norm Groulx. In spite of being great players themselves, theyÕve continued to sharpen their coaching skills, attending clinics year after year.

Next yearÕs lineup looks strong again, with the majority of the team returning. The coaching talents of Sandy Black and Dave Girard will introduce another wave of talented kids coming from the Minor division.   The future for baseball in Whistler continues to shine brightly with Steve Shuster and Dave Krazny creating fun and exciting in the T-Ball division.   Great job coaches and parent volunteers!

The WMBA would also like to extend a huge thank you to The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation for contributing the funds to purchase a new generator. This generator runs a pitching machine that significantly improves the players hitting skills and confidence over their very short Whistler baseball seasonÉ and itÕs great fun! WeÕd also like to extend our appreciation to Nesters Market and IngridÕs Village CafŽ for donating the food and drinks for our BBQ at Meadow Park.

Look for registration next spring so your kids can get involved in this amazing game!

Laura Wetaski

President

Whistler Minor Baseball Association