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Letters to the Editor

What's with no gas? Lakeside Park lament, more on scum landlords, green light to new radio station, thanks from Alta Lake and no thanks to Russell Smith


No gas, no class

It's hard to believe that a "World Class Resort" runs out of gas! It has happened more than once in the last month. I'm sure all the visitors who were here for American Thanksgiving and weren't able to drive home because their cars were empty or they missed a flight, don't think of us as "world class".

Whistler should have had more gas stations but because of local government interference, it doesn't. I think it's time for the mayor and councillors to ease off of trying to regulate and interfere with private businesses here in Whistler. Let them operate competitively, instead of deciding for them, i.e. limiting the number of gas stations, cancelling beer and wine store licences, etc.

If it's good it will work, if not let them fail. It's not up to the municipality to tell private enterprise what to do.

Mavis Jenner



Whistler’s shame

Well the winter tourist season commenced last weekend and look at what is located right next to the Sea to Sky Highway and 200 metres from the Creekside Gondola! The Petro-Canada industrial hole, complete with a mountain of contaminated soil, exposed pipes and a dilapidated industrial fence. Nice, this ought to impress our tourists.

Is Whistler a "sustainable community" or a third world? Why is this site left in such a horrid mess? Please, at least hide this environmental travesty and its dirty laundry with a plywood fence with graphics to cheer on the 2010 Games.

Shame on you Whistler... where is your planning?

Kim DesLauriers



Dangerous reasoning

Citizens of Whistler hear me out. This could happen to you. With deference to the Kingston Trio and their hit song, MTA, we have a more serious situation in Whistler. Your rights, your property value and the peace and tranquility you treasure could be diminished if the RMOW has its way and proceeds with their plans for Lakeside Park.

Imagine for a moment that the RMOW decides to put a commercial operation and public toilet right beside your property because they deem it necessary to satisfy the demands of tourists or other valley residents, or as they put it “is in step with their plans to enhance tourism”. Yes, if either of the Lakeside Park options is chosen then could your property or your neighbour’s property be next?

The RMOW could deem it essential that a movie theatre, a bowling alley, a pub, a hotel, a B&B, a hostel, a bike shop, a motorcycle rental or all terrain vehicle rental store be placed adjacent to your residential zoned property, to enhance tourism. Those of you with property on the Valley Trail are especially vulnerable as the RMOW may deem it necessary to put toilets and a concession stand adjacent to or in close proximity to your property to service the needs of tourists and residents alike.

Let me be clear, I do not have friends who live in close proximity to Lakeside Park or in Alta Vista but I believe, very strongly, that we can all be affected or negatively impacted by a decision to put a commercial establishment and public toilets in an area zoned as residential.

If the RMOW deems that there is a need for a commercial operation to provide watercraft on the east side of Alta Lake then surely Wayside Park is the place to put it. Wayside Park could also be the site for public toilets.

You may feel that the issues regarding Lakeside Park do not really impact you or concern you, but they do. The RMOW’s actions threaten your rights, your expectations and your property value. Get involved to quash their plans, I did.

Keith Fernandes

Whistler & Vancouver


Communication, not confrontation

  It never surprises me to see scum landlords grabbing the headlines. Too bad the papers never publish what they have to say. They did not create the problem; they are only capitalizing on it. It has been past council members’ policies to run them out of town, of course, but only if there is a written complaint by neighbours.

In all the years (15) of the Backpackers Hostel existence never did council ask for advice on what the transient workers needs were. Our rezoning application sat for almost 10 years in the planning department. We were told to forget about it, it will never happen.

Yes, the Backpackers capitalized on it! We racked, stacked & packed, but behind closed doors there was a blind eye and level of acceptance of what we were doing, as Backpackers was seen as a necessary evil at the time because of Whistler's boom growth years.

The point is, council needs to focus on the needs of the transient worker. Give these people an opportunity to be the citizens of tomorrow. Show them that Whistler cares for them enough that the future is worth planting themselves here.

This year, for a brief moment in time, I'll slip into The Creek and visit some of the ex-Backpackers that are fully functioning locals. Please, no parades or bylaw officer reunions are necessary.

Lake Placid Road still has a chance to hold on to the spirit that once filled the entire valley, as redevelopment creeps into that neighbourhood and drives out the last of the skids and their scum landlords, who are going to cash in/sell-out, given the opportunity. This is a last chance for our fearless leaders to focus on what type of rezoning will happen and give incentives to make it happen. Hostels/ Bed & Breakfasts/ Senior Housing/ Employee Suites/ Club Cabins — almost any of these types of bed businesses will help the transient worker find a temporary or permanent bed.

Calen Keath



Go Ralph, go

This is in response to the "landlord Scum" letters. I really think that this is being blown out of context. I think both people that have written letters in defence of the scum landlords have never had to work three jobs to support themselves here in Whistler, or had to pay $600 to share a room with three other people in a house that has four or five other rooms like this.

I think what Ralph Forsyth is aiming to do is not have the poor transient people, that make up the major part of our work force in the winter months, being taken advantage of.

How can you possibly think it is OK for a landlord to have two people sharing a room and paying $500-$700 for a shared room, with two or three other rooms in the house paying the same amount? Believe it or not defenders of landlords, it happens. Ask any of the Aussies who have come over for the winter season.

Jay Wahono mentions "Living in Whistler sometimes makes us forget that we, too are intricately connected to the rest of the world." Well I hate to break it to you Jay, but my friends in the city aren't paying $500-$700 to share a room in a little A-frame out in the middle of nowhere. It's about time someone started to stick up for the little guys. Go Forsyth, go. You know you have the support of most of Whistler.

Paul Rowe



Game on..

CRTC Decision 2006 – 642

“The Commission approves the application by The Mountain Culture Collective Radio Society for a broadcast licence to operate a developmental community FM radio programming undertaking in Whistler, British Columbia.”

Every desire is the effort of an unexpressed possibility to come into action.

Please accept our gratitude, to every person who offered support and/or healthy skepticism.

OK, all y’all, it’s time to come out of the woodwork with your ideas for musical and spoken word content.

Game on…

Scott Kittleson, Chairman

The Mountain Culture Collective Radio Society


Sweet effort

The Alta Lake School would like to express our sincerest gratitude to everyone who came out and participated in the Christmas Fair this past weekend! It was such a joy to see all the busy little bees, young and old, using their amazing creativity and dexterity to create beautiful hand made gifts and toys for giving.

Special thanks to Grandpa Al at Aphrodite’s Organic Delights in Vancouver for supplying us with the delicious quiches and pumpkin pie, Bruce at Nesters for supplying the yummy hot dogs and drinks, and Scotty at The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for donating the deliciously decadent caramel for the caramel apples.

Many parents and students (too many to mention!) donated their time and talents to make this much anticipated community celebration happen; thank you, thank you, thank you!

Warmest Wishes to all for the Holiday Season!

Peggy Vogler

Alta Lake School


An inconsiderate ‘guest’

I would like to respond to the Globe & Mail’s article on Nov. 25, 2006: “Overindulging in Whistler, Naked women, Eight-course Meal, Ten years into the ski resort's Cornucopia fest, Russell Smith finds there is a limit to the number of oysters one can swallow”

I find it really disturbing when this writer tries to paint a picture of Whistler as a playground for millionaires and hedonists from all over the world. He seems to forget that Whistler is also a community just like any other Canadian community. The majority of us who live and work here are neither millionaires nor hedonists. We are just ordinary people who try to get by in our own daily lives and at the same time we also try to share our recreation facilities with people from around the world. We welcome all, we serve all and we like to see ourselves as one of the most accessible resort communities in the world. The only difference is that we host 400-plus media/travel writers per year, people like Mr. Smith.

Like any writer who is given limited space to fill, it is probably hard for Mr. Smith to give his readers the complete picture of what he experienced when he was a guest among us. Especially when he is more concerned with entertaining his readers than giving a balanced picture. Nonetheless, Mr. Smith was a guest. He should not judge his hosts by his own personal stereotyping.

Granted, we are a relatively young community. Therefore we are vibrant, energetic and creative with everything we do around here. We do not have a long heritage like communities in eastern Canada. Our history is still in the making, in the hands of the people who just became a part of this community recently, people like me and my family.

What I found really interesting about this place is that we value every life that has existed here before we all came, whether it is people from other cultures, trees or even other creatures.

Not only that, we also embrace diversity in our everyday lives. Whether servicing our guests from around the world or recruiting our new staff, we see diversity as our core competence in making this place magical. Every culture in Whistler finds a way to contribute in the creation of our collective values.

We all probably are looking for the same thing in our lives: a place that we can proudly call home with values that match our own. Nobody wants to wander all over the world for the rest of his or her life trying to find that place. Whistler is such a place for me and my family, and we have traveled half way across the world to end up here. The prospects of finding another place like Whistler are extremely rare. Therefore I don’t take for granted what I have found here.

So Mr. Smith, next time you become a guest of someone’s house or community, please be more considerate of your hosts and what you write about them, especially when they welcome you so warmly.

Jay Wahono



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