I have lived here for 12 years now, owned a business and worked here. I have watched Squamish grow both in size and poverty. I write this letter not to whine but to let my sons know that they have value and to let Squamish know it robs itself of good people and good lives by standing by and apparently doing nothing.
The poverty levels in Squamish are much higher it seems to me than in many other small communities and once again on the evening of April 11, my special needs son's bicycle was stolen. He has only had this bike for two months now and loves it with all his heart.
This is the third bike we have had stolen in Squamish in two years. In fact, on one occasion my older son was jumped, beaten and his bike taken out from under him and he still has no bicycle. What is it about Squamish that not only is petty crime so rampant but it almost seems welcome?
I, as a single mother who lives below poverty levels myself and tries so hard to teach my children right from wrong seem to be, as many below poverty people are that I know to be decent human beings and trying to make ends meet the victims of such pathetic crimes.
We saved for over a year to rebuild a trashed bike for my son, and after two months it is taken.
We live on less than $10,000 a year and we do all right on it but home insurance is impossible, so now this much loved and needed sense of pride for my son has been taken from him and my son's response to this is: "I hate Squamish! It's just another reason to leave."
How can the innocence of a nine-year-old be so tarnished that he can't wait to leave a small community about to be part of hosting the 2010 Olympics?
Pride in Squamish? I don't think so. Shame is what he carries as a member of this community and shame on those who steal not just from anyone but go to the lengths to steal from the poorest members of our town as well.
My son won't have a bike now, it took over a year to get the one he had and there is no way I can replace it. That's all right though because as he says: "Mom, let's just pack and leave."
So here we sit, packing our bags and boxes, worn out in Squamish. No place to go but it doesn't matter any place is better than Squamish! Thanks for nothing.
Name withheld by request
An open letter to Dream Fitness
An open letter to Pam Berg, proprietor of Dream Fitness:
OK, so you screwed up. You took people's money when you knew your ship was sinking. You tried and failed.
A lot of people in business do; who's to say what happened to Dream Fitness? A lot of people know more about the situation than me.
I only joined a month ago. Commercial rents are high, landowners seem to have all of power, drugs and other temptations are everywhere, and there is a lot of grief in the learning process of running a business.
Yes, it's true, Squamish is booming, and greed and lust are everywhere in the struggle to sink or swim, or just look good in the community. We all fail in life sometimes. No one is perfect. We all dream of making it.
A lot of angry women in all age ranges were at our meeting March 30, but I also saw a lot of sympathetic and understanding women, which I think, is real and true asset to a community. I also heard a lot of positive comments about how great the facility was. You and your instructors were making fitness fun in Squamish, as well as giving everyone a good and healthy experience.
But here's my point: you do have a chance to redeem yourself, even if the money is already spent.
I don't know the details of your life, and I don't want to be the one to condemn you for taking everyone's money and then closing the doors on the business when you knew Dream Fitness was going under. It's not for us to judge, and most of us have overdue credit cards and debt. Who doesn't?
I only met you a month ago, paid $450 for a year's membership, and now you're gone. I always give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and judging from the news, there's a lot more heinous crimes going on in the world. But here's what you can do:
Come out and tell everyone what happened, and over time, attempt to pay everyone back. It has been done. If you at least humbled yourself and went public, this would show everyone what a great person you are, and how hard you tried in the business to satisfy your clients with a great exercise experience, as well as teach others that it's hard to fall and get back up again, but that it can be done. I for one will forgive you, and I know a lot of ladies that were there last night, who also have a big enough heart to work with you.
Don't hide from your problems, admit them, and we can all help each other in this community. Let's heal this wound together, because nobody's perfect.
Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm just a forgiving sap, but I personally can't see any other way for you to walk through this town you call home anymore.
Valuable service lost
When I read your Friday, April 1 edition, I hoped that, like your front page, the article on Dream Fitness was an April Fool's prank.
It wasn't, so I decided to go forage for information.
I had already learned from your article that there are a lot of angry people; I learned for myself that there are also a lot of sad people.
Dream Fitness was a very clean, a very beautiful spacious club, and exclusively for women. A lot of women in the community are feeling a considerable amount of loss. Why then did it all end?
The first notice placed upon the door at Dream Fitness cited as the cause of the closure, refusal to renew the lease, the second, bankruptcy.
Dream Fitness management told me they learned at 4 p.m. Monday, March 28, that their lease would not be renewed, and they therefore closed the club, and posted notice.
The owner of the building in which Dream Fitness was located, told me that he had not served management of Dream Fitness a notice of eviction, but had informed them, on the aforementioned date and time, that the lease would not be renewed. According to both parties, the lease was to come to an end on April 30, 2005.Now, to extrapolate: Dream Fitness did not sell memberships up to the last minute, as the article in your paper claimed.
Had that been the case, Dream Fitness would still be selling memberships, and would continue to do so, up to and including April 30.
In fact, Dream Fitness closed their doors as soon as they learned the lease was not to be renewed.
Be that as it may, it remains that a valuable service no longer graces our community.