Now that's how you start a year. First you wake up with a fuzzy head. That's good because you don't want to be thinking clearly on the day you've committed to a wintry jump in the ocean. Last year, the first 'un-official' polar bear swim, was freezing cold yet dry, this year it was raining Squamish style. But you can't be part of a tradition and not keep it up so away I went.
As I pedalled with child in tow, soaking wet from the rain and freezing cold from the ocean, I found time to think and reflect. Think how fantastic hot showers are, and reflect on the year that was, while musing about some well-deserved awards:
Worst kept secret award: Nancy Campbell, Squamish principal. Word spread like wildfire that the Premier's wife was just hired. Immediately hundreds imagined just how challenging it would be to work surrounded by people who consider your life partner to be largely responsible for their horrific working conditions.
Kill em' all, keep the cash award: Call it a resolution, call it a prediction, call it an inevitability. Someone is going to die because of CN. Sadly it's probably the only way we'll see the political will to do more than slap their wrists. The countless derailments are equal parts horrific, funny peculiar, and embarrassing.
When they're not derailing, the mighty CN logo can be seen blockading downtown access (i.e. If you have a heart attack downtown during the day "good luck") Not to mention the potential for First Nations to be trapped if/when there's a derailment. What's it going to take to set things right? Do we have to start picketing the tracks? Those would have to be brave, brave people. But the cherry on this cake is that through it all, CN has the gall to demand Squamish people pay for crossing maintenance. Bad! Bad CN!
Love thy neighbour award: Whistler, for the flaky drama surrounding the sledge hockey arena. What hurt most of all was how Whistler's indecisive waffling brutally highlighted how insignificant Squamish is in the VANOC world. Just how squeaky does our wheel need to be to get some Olympic grease?
Right sign, wrong place award: I like the sign that said "now hiring- add ribs for $1". But the biggest sign silliness was the gigantic billboard that threatened north bound tourists to visit our downtown but "Don't Meth Around!" Vital message, horrifically wrong location. More appropriate would be the Schools or even Second Ave.
Enough is enough award: Real-estate highway signs. Frankly it flew past the point of unsightly, zipped right past unsafe and has now become simply un-acceptable. Sure political signs are annoying, but they go away (for a while). You do have to admire some of the honesty in advertising as there's one called 'Spectacle'. How appropriate.
This blows award: Woodfibre gets the coffin ready and wind energy just may save the day. Squamish translates to Mother wind, and for so many reasons that energy is needed now more than ever.