Letters to the editor

Not my town anymore

Editor,

It is with mixed feelings that I type these words.

I was born and raised in Squamish. I went to school here. I made friends here. I got into trouble here. I graduated here. I got my first job here. I got married here and I had a baby here.

I am pretty sad to be leaving. My husband was working for Western Pulp, and as most people are aware, the mill has closed down most likely for good.

I feel somewhat relieved to be pushed out, strangely enough. Perhaps it was with the birth of our daughter that caused me to reflect more and more on what growing up here has meant to me. I enjoyed living a simple, fulfilling life here. I do believe that it is a blessing that we must leave. I long for my daughter to grow up in a small, seemingly insignificant town, the way I did.

Squamish is just not the town I grew up in. It is becoming fewer and farther between that I see someone I know on the street. So many people are moving here from the city, and believe me, I understand the draw. With highway improvements, past headlines such as "Killer Highway Strikes Again" are about to become a distant memory. Most of us "lifers" (people born & raised here) know that only with increased traffic to Whistler did our beautiful highway become more and more dangerous with each passing year.

When I was growing up, this town wasn't known as the Outdoor Recreation Capital, it was just our home. I didn't need fast food restaurants, adventure centres, or (heaven forbid) skiing. It was simply a nice place to live. We all thought so.

And so, without further dramatics, I bid the town that I grew up in a big farewell. To all of the people here who touched my life, goodbye. And thank you for being a part of my life. To my childhood, goodbye. You are gone, but never forgotten. And to the new town that I just don't recognize, goodbye. To all current residents, please enjoy just living a life here, the way I did.

Nicole Aracki

Squamish

Thanks Ray Peters

Editor,

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Board and the Sea to Sky Trail Standing Committee thank Ray Peters for the vision, time, effort and expertise he shared with us.

Ray has been an inspiration to many of us throughout the corridor.

Ray was a strong leader at a time when strong leadership is key to the performance of governments, organizations and societies.

Ray was a mentor at a time when we need to produce more leaders.

Ray was a positive role model at a time when we need more positive role models.

Ray was a volunteer at a time when communities need volunteers more than ever before.

Ray not only knew how to get things done; he rolled up his sleeves and did it.

Ray was a colleague and friend.

Ray played an active role in making our part of the world a better place to live, work and play.

Perhaps Ray's best trail will lead us in his direction to dream more, learn more, do more and become more by building bridges and helping each other.

John Turner

Chair, Squamish Lillooet Regional District

Brackendale cleans up

Editor,

On Saturday, April 29, residents of Brackendale are getting together and cleaning up as much litter as we can around our neighbourhood. The effort will be part of the Pitch-In Week activities supported by the District of Squamish Public Works department.

This letter is to invite anyone interested in joining a clean-up crew to contact me at 898-8365 or via email at boata@shaw.ca. Groups will get together to help pick up litter around neighbourhood streets and ditches, and other public areas. People of all ages are welcomed for whatever time they can spare. I am sure everyone can think of a place or two that could use a little cleaning-up, and that, with the help of a few other people, could be done quite quickly. It might even be fun!

Many public works employees will be volunteering their services that day, and help dispose of whatever garbage and recyclables we can pick-up. Pitch-In Day garbage bags and gloves will also be provided.

Stéphane Perron

BOATA (Brackendale Owners and Tenants Association)

Memorial excellent idea

Editor,

Re: Remembering Lives Lost

Squamish Chief, March 24, 2006

An 18-foot brass Thunderbird memorial monument. I think this is an excellent idea. I know that Charonne Douglas and Ice Bear will have their way regarding The Animikii (Sea to Sky Memorial Monument). I too have lost a dear friend recently, Lyndsay. I also knewAl and Ian Barbour. I have checked out their website (www.seatoskycountry.net/animikii). It was informative and very touching. I just knew I had to get involved. I believe that the Animikii monument will represent two important facts for everyone who travels Highway 99.Firstly, a pullout where people can get out of their cars safely and be able to admire the Thunderbird monument along with the beauty of the Sea to Sky corridor. A place where loved ones can go.

Secondly, a reminder of drivers to SLOW down and take due care and attention when driving your vehicle. It is not the highway that's taking the lives, it is people who are taking the lives.

The Sea to Sky Highway was named the 5th best road trip in the world. Please everyone who speeds and drives carelessly, take a moment and rethink how you want to enjoy the breath taking drive.

I understand that there are several large agencies sponsoring this project. I encourage everyone to donate to the Sea to Sky Memorial Society fund at the Squamish Credit Union. The plan is to distribute several donation boxes throughout Squamish and I hope to see some fundraisers in the future also.

This community, I call home, has come together several times for families and friends in need. I believe we can make this happen. And hopefully we can save lives. My regards to everyone who has grieved for a loved one.

Kelly Fallis

Squamish

Prayers sought for persecuted

Editor,

As I was reading the recent letters to the editor in the Chief, I realize how grateful I am to be living in the country where we are free. Free to express our opinions, practice our faith and decide our future.

I have lived in Canada for 22 years and I consider Squamish my community. I want the people of my community to know what is happening in Iran to my family and friends.

I am a Baha'i and escaped from Iran 23 years ago due to the persecution and execution of the Baha'is. The persecution has not stopped and is now intensifying. UN Special Rapporteur posted a press release about a recent letter "which is addressed to the Ministry of Information, the Revolutionary Guard and the Police Force that states that the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei has instructed the Command Headquarters to identify persons who adhere to the Baha'i Faith and monitor their activities." The press release also reports the concern is "that the information gained as a result of such monitoring willbe used as a basis for increased persecution of, and discrimination against, members of the Baha'i Faith."

I believe in the power of prayer. The Baha'is of Squamish are organizing a candle light prayer gathering on Saturday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Tantalus Seniors' Centre. I invite my community to join me and pray for not only the safety of the Baha'is in Iran, but also for the unity of mankind.

Mina Dickinson

Squamish

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