G.D. Maxwell's anti-Olympics hyperbole notwithstanding, I just don't see the sky falling (Our individual rights trumped by Olympics, Maxed Out Oct. 22). I consider the Olympics the greatest show on earth periodically bringing nations, even enemies, together in a friendly pow-wow. A substantial majority here supports the 2010 Vancouver-Whistler Winter Olympics as polls, referendums, Olympic license plates, legions of volunteers, etc. attest. Personally, I always look forward to the Olympics with great anticipation and I am yet to be disappointed.
G.D. should have held his fire a while longer. The VPD already announced that it will not be the "sign police" and city hall indicated that it will review relevant bylaws (I give G.D. the benefit of doubt as this information may have been too late for his deadline). I understand Vancouver has contractual obligations with the IOC to prevent anti-Olympic propaganda and "ambush-marketing" within sight of TV cameras covering the Games. I find that entirely reasonable. However, what really scares me is that the city could wind up with onerous lawsuits by the IOC and/or corporate sponsors, should it renege on its end of the bargain.
Second, "peaceful protest" often degenerates into mob action, cop baiting, even physical confrontation to produce footage for the evening news. In such an encounter, I want the cops to come out on top. I am reluctant to accept extreme behavior as "free speech." Furthermore, I am sure the protesters would have ample opportunity to complain on camera during the Games, albeit not at Olympic venues. Local and foreign TV networks fishing for controversy will, no doubt, seek them out for interviews.
Anti-Olympians had nearly a decade to make a coherent and credible case against the 2010 Winter Olympics and the mass media and the Internet to disseminate their message. If they still could not rustle up a critical mass of adherents then they could not have had much of a case.
Another tribute to Ted
It was good to read in both our local papers the description of all the accomplishments of Ted Nebbeling. Besides the legacies of the Meadow Park Sports Centre and the public transit system, Ted also must be given credit for establishing a home for the Whistler Museum and Archives Society.
As councillor he arranged the lease of the old municipal hall at Function Junction for $l a year to be developed as a Museum and Archives centre. Then, as President of Rotary, he made this his community project. Finances from Rotary and Yurrop Trading (Ted & Jan's company) enabled materials for Rotarian volunteer Bill Wallace to renovate the old building and for local volunteer Andy Petersen to construct counters, cabinets and show cases.