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Letters to the Editor

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Residents not to blame for DES issues

(I am writing this letter to respond) to Whistler Development Corporation president Mr. Eric Martin), and his unfounded comments about residents: "homeowners too may have tried to fix a very complex system themselves, which could have created problems," (Pique, Jan.29).

How about one neighbour who just spend $1,700.00 to upgrade his heating system to copper pipes instead of Pex pipes, which were installed by the installer. I am quite convinced that he didn't do it.

How about water pumps failing because they were not levelled (at installation)?

Who tested the water put in our system, which seems to cause some of the issues? Who was the water specialist hired to monitor all that?

Most of us are afraid to even look at the system, never mind trying to fix it.

As for your comment about using "unqualified techs," I personally used the same tech as WDC, (the municipal subsidiary responsible for building the Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood) sent every time I had issues with my unit while it was under warranty, and five years later I am still having some of the same issues. It never got fixed properly I guess. Twice (so far) the tech found faulty wiring in the heat pump (from the factory), once five years ago and the second time was Jan. 5, 2015.  

And I love your comment: "I think people's tendency is to monkey-wrench it sometimes, and a lot of them did and I know that for a fact."

You know that for a fact, how? How many times have you talked to some of us about how satisfied we were about our heating system?

You sure didn't ask me. And if some of them have tried to fix it themselves (and I don't know for a fact if they did), maybe it is because they can't afford to pay to fix a system that should have worked properly from the beginning and/or fixed as it should have been while under warranty. As the systems are brand new, nobody should have to fix them in the first place anyway.

As for myself, I had maintenance done regularly.

So before making comments as such, maybe you should come and talk to us and get your information from the source, and that's a fact.

Stop ignoring the problems and be part of the solutions instead, like WDC should.

Denis Ebacher


DES residents want missing documents

After a lot of searching, I was finally able to obtain copies of the as-built mechanical drawings and specifications for The Rise DES heat pump systems.

Under the provisions of what are called Letters of Assurance, the plans and supporting documents submitted in support of the application for the building permit for The Rise, in conjunction with Schedules B1 and B2, became an integral part of the building permit issued for construction.

When the project was substantially complete, Letters of Assurance procedures required that the engineer of record submit a Schedule C-B to Whistler. The Schedule C-B states, in part, "I hereby give my assurance that (b) those components of the project opposite my initials in Schedule B-2 substantially comply with all material respects with (ii) the plans and supporting documents submitted in support of the application for the building permit."

Item 3.5 of Schedule B-2 specifically lists maintenance manuals as a requirement for mechanical systems. Sheet M4 (specifications) of the mechanical plans submitted in support of the application for the building permit, lists a significant number of requirements specific to the DES heat pump systems that do not appear to have been complied with.

Among them, (7.2) "At completion of construction, submit to the engineer 3 sets of maintenance information covering the operation and maintenance of the H.V.A.C. systems" and, (7.3) "Provide tenant reporting system for heating problems and provide four complete inspections during the first heating season. Adjust the balance and ensure that the system is operating as required. Record any changes made and provide a written report to the engineer."

Or this one, (8.1) "Provide a 20 year written guarantee against manufacturing defects on all materials installed within the slab or topping and this one, (8.2) Provide a 5 year written warranty against faulty workmanship."

There are more requirements, but space is limited.

I have searched everywhere, but I have not been able to locate copies of the aforementioned documents. Nor does anyone I have spoken with know anything about them.

Given the issues some have experienced, copies of the five-year warranty and 20-year guarantee are especially important. I would appreciate you getting me copies of these documents at your earliest convenience. If need be, I will come by your office and pick them up. I appreciate your immediate attention to this matter.

David MacPhail


Privilege lost

It is nothing short of a miracle that Julie Abrahamsen is alive and well after spending three nights, unprepared, in the wilderness (Pique, Jan.29).

Nothing can diminish or lessen this fact. It is an outcome that, as many others have already pointed out, is neither common nor expected. She had luck on her side in a big way, as it seems she did everything possible to facilitate her own almost-certain demise.  

She has proven herself — loud and clear — to be irresponsible and a detriment to her well-being, as well as the well-being of others. The absolute asinine decisions she made to put herself into such a situation are mind blowing, and incomprehensible to most competent human beings.  

While we cannot begin to understand why she did what she did, we can control our response to it.

I believe this should include a lifetime ban from Whistler Blackcomb. She's proven that she doesn't have the proper decision-making skills to handle this kind of momentous responsibly.

I believe she should be obliged to spend the rest of her time here in Canada educating others, young kids and seasonal employees, about the consequences of your decisions, especially when it comes to the mountain.

I believe that rather than giving Ms. Abrahamsen new snowboards, as it was reported that Comor and Garfinkle's did, that these boards would be put to better use by going to auction to help raise money for our local SAR.

The amount of time, money and resources that were exhausted on account of the decisions that she made should not be rewarded. Giving her new snowboards and allowing her to continue using these mountains only serves to encourage her actions and validate this kind of stupidity as reasonable.

Using the mountains here is a privilege, not a right. I'm not sure that she could have done anything more to prove that this is not a right that she deserves to have.  

Kate Turner


The right to be stupid

The recent rescue of an out-of-bounds rider shines light on a home truth that says, risk taking is essential in life, but it's important to learn how to take a risk (Pique, Jan.29). Going out of bounds wasn't wrong but going without the knowledge was a little random.

Something else to consider about this story is that duress reveals character, and for this gal to emerge at all from what I would consider a pretty rowdy weather event is impressive. If she learns from her mistakes I think she should have babies.

Lastly, on the topic of being charged for the rescue, keep in mind that in our society we have the right to be "stupid."

Paul Hookham


Risk management is the future

Regarding the recent out-of-bounds rescue, (letter writer) Pierre J. Gagnon ("Letters to the Editor," Pique, Jan.29) seems to express a particularly strong sentiment that I think needs challenging.

I don't dispute the errors, or competency of the young women that he so vehemently attacks, but I fail to see how he can jump to such vitriolic conclusions about her character.

If she was willfully incompetent, he might have a case but there is no evidence for that. She did pretty much what is expected of her, if the standard indoctrination of ski-hill culture is any indication.

What is very gratifying to see is that the culture may actually be changing.

Powder magazine has done a full 180-degree shift recently with their focus on risk management, and they should be congratulated for that. Powder is taking a risk but if successful, it will be reflected in readership behaviour. I hope all relevant institutions and cultural leaders have the spine to follow their lead.

But back to his character assassination. That was completely undeserving and Pierre Gagnon should be ashamed of himself in his gross assumption of "showing no remorse," or insinuations of self aggrandizement by the young woman.

He is wildly guessing and it is typical of the usual spleen venting of the pompously self-righteous. It is not unusual that spleen venters are not exactly expert themselves in the subject matter.

You never heard a (North Shore Search and Rescue manager) Tim Jones or (Whistler Search and Rescue) Binty Massey attacking character or making unsubstantiated insinuations.

They may critique her actions, but not character.

Furthermore, teenagers are supposed to take risk, and occasionally it strays into stupid. That should certainly be pointed out, but we have all done it, and there is ample study and evidence that it is a required means of gaining good-quality, decision-making skills.

I am absolutely flabbergasted at our blindness to this fact. Sure, we want them to learn smart risk, but don't slaughter them because they make mistakes. (They are) their mistakes after all, and she threatened no one but herself with it. Give her a hand.

Unlike Pierre Gagnon, I would like to invite Miss Abrahamsen to stay in Whistler, and with her experience help us develop a more mature, empathetic and skilled culture, one that appreciates the realities of risk, both good and bad.

Bruce Kay


Honesty best policy

Thanks for the update on how Whistler Blackcomb (WB) does it's forecast (Pique, Jan.29).

WB looses credibility when it lists precipitation as snow rather than rain when the temps are below zero, and the freezing levels are above 2,200 metres, as was done during the last warm front.

If that info came from RWDI then, WB should be looking for some new scientists.

WB has done a great job getting the whole mountain open top to bottom in a tough weather year. It's really a shame to tarnish that work by misleading visitors who may not know better.

Andre Duguay


Cell tower concerns

I have concerns about the plans for building a new communications facility in our downtown (behind Elements and the Legion in Pemberton).

There is an existing Telus tower one lot away that has space available for rent. From Roger's information package the only reason given for not using the Telus tower is that is not high enough — they claim to need a 20-metre tower and the Telus tower is 18.9m.

I find it hard to believe that this 1.1-metre difference (just taller than my 2.5 year old son) is so critical that Rogers is forced to build a brand new structure.

The proposed area in our downtown is already quite "industrial" looking with equipment storage and the existing tower, and I think it is in the best interest of our village to focus on pedestrian- and resident-friendly business and construction instead.

While I'm myself am a Rogers cell customer, and would love better quality cell service, I don't think it is worth cluttering our downtown "skyline" with additional tall concrete structures.

Part of its application process is a requirement to look at co-locating, or renting from existing tower owners. I see that with the proposed new Rogers tower, they would be in a position to rent out space – I believe that is what Telus likely stated when they built their tower in our downtown.

This seems like a case of wanting to own themselves, rather than rent from their competition, at the expense of our downtown.

Anyone interested should come out to the public information session Rogers is required to put on tonight, Thursday Feb. 5, 6-8 p.m. at the community centre.

More info is available in the Rogers info package on the village website.  http://www.pemberton.ca/blog/2015/1/15/proposed-wireless-structure/

Niki Vankerk


Winterfest thanks

I wish to thank the volunteers, sponsors and community partners of Pemberton Winterfest 2015 — they are truly super stars!

We were faced with various ice and weather challenges heading into the event this year, but they stuck with us and we all came together to host a fun, family friendly event in celebration of Winter. Their help and support made this year's Winterfest a success. We could not have done it without them.So, here's to our volunteers — thank you for your resilience, energy and effort: Michelle Whitlock, Dave Russell, Ted Craddock, Pat MacKenzie, Tom Quenneville, Doug Tuck, Kevin Damaskie, Drew Oberson, Daniel Cindric, Kirk Becker, Shirley Henry, Brad Knowles, Rob Meilleur, Tony Medd, James Linklater, Rob Szachury, Vince Moule, Paul Vacirca, Heather Vacirca, Lesley Clark and Grizzly Robinson.

And a huge thank you for the financial support from BC Hydro, CRT-ebc, Innergex, Pemberton Music Festival, and West Park Electric.

Thank you also to our esteemed community partners for their unwavering support: Village of Pemberton, Squamish Lillooet Regional District, Pemberton Fire Rescue Service , Pemberton District Search and Rescue, Main Roads, Pemberton Ambulance, RONA, Sabre Rentals, U-HAUL, Pemberton Valley Supermarket, Pemberton Valley Lodge, Pemberton Taxi, Valley Chainsaw & Recreational, Pemberton DJ, XL Audio Visual, Sharon's Herbal Healing & Fine Arts, Whistler Blackcomb, Pemberton & District Library, Normark, Danielson, Rapala, Pemberton Fish Finder, Pemberton Community Centre, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 201, Rotary Club of Pemberton, Pemberton Lions Club, Pemberton & District Chamber of Commerce, Turbo Plumbing, and Pocketful Productions.

We look forward to another great event in 2016!

Carlee Cindric

Pemberton Winterfest Chair

Highway speed limits

I just wanted to share with all of our co-citizens that since the speed limits have been increased in the Sea to Sky corridor, I think it has also increased people's impatience as well!

Last night was the scariest drive I have had in years — some road raging person had to pass me at high speed because they felt that I was not driving fast enough (75 km in a 90 km zone). It was a foggy night, and when the truck decided to pass me it cut right in front of me blurring my windshield.

I kinda liked the 80 km limit — why? Because I felt safe and felt that it was a nice and mellow drive.

We should all remind ourselves that when you see the speed limit, whether it says 80 km or 100 km, it means that's the maximum speed in ideal road conditions.

Well, last night it was not ideal conditions at all! (Added to that) some areas don't have very clear road lines.

I hope you did not miss your favourite show on T.V — you probably got to Pemberton about five minutes before I did.

Always be safe on the road, keep your distance, keep your road rage at bay.

I really don't understand why they had to increase the speed limits and why people tailgate other people. Wake up! You never know what the driver in front of you sees.

There might be deer on the road, or people, or even someone's lost pet.

Slow down! Slow down! What if someone is having car issues, or a heart attack, and that is why they are trying to slow down, but because you are tailgating them, they can't.

Be patient on the road and wait until the right moment to pass, and make sure when you pass that there is a safe distance, so you don't "splash" others with slush, or mud, or gravel or whatever.

Annie Beau