Thank you very much for your extensive coverage of the Nov. 10 cheque presentation to the West Coast Railway Association (WCRA) ("Government stokes Royal Hudson restoration work," Nov. 11, 2005).
Your article portrayed the event accurately and provided good historical background but there is one item requiring correction. While the $100,000 grant from the BC Transportation Authority will go a long way towards the restoration, we do require additional funds to complete the project. With this grant, we have raised over $300,000 but all of this money has been spent or committed, primarily to parts and materials. We require an additional $150,000 to finish the project and have the locomotive operational by next spring.
The restoration is going well and we have now completed the stripping, cleaning and inspection of the boiler. Our initial estimate of $500,000 has been reduced by $50,000 because the boiler is in better condition than originally anticipated. No running gear work is required and we are now proceeding with re-assembly. The project is on budget and on track for completion by next May.
The WCRA appreciates The Chief's continued support of the events and projects at our Heritage Park in Squamish. We welcome donations in any amount towards any of our projects. In addition, we can always use volunteers, particularly retired railroaders in the community who have a wealth of knowledge in areas such as steam locomotives. Please see www.wcra.org for progress on the Royal Hudson and other projects at the Heritage Park. Thank you.
J. Singh Biln
Manager Major Projects - WCRA
Cancer Society thanks community
On behalf of the Canadian Cancer Society Greater Vancouver Region I would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the members of your community who supported the Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Coast. Your community helped us raise vital funds for childhood cancer research and Canadian Cancer Society programs and services for children living with cancer by riding, getting their heads shaved, donating, sponsoring or volunteering for this annual event.
During the week of Sept. 24 to Oct. 1, law enforcement officers from your community cycled more than 600 km through Howe Sound, the Sunshine Coast and Greater Vancouver communities in eight days, raising awareness and money for childhood cancer from generous people in your community. All together our team of 35 Tour de Coast riders raised an amazing $450,000.
For the past nine years, Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer in British Columbia has been a highly-anticipated annual event and I am both heartened and inspired by the spirit and generosity of the ongoing commitment shown by so many people in our communities throughout British Columbia. We are amazed by what we have accomplished and are confident that we can do even more to fight cancer with your continued support. All of you are part of the dream of the day when no one fears cancer. Thank you.
Regional Manager, Canadian Cancer Society Greater Vancouver Region
Mother of woman killed in crash sends thanks
As many of you know, my daughter Sarah McSeveney was killed in a car accident in Squamish on Oct. 5. Sarah lived in Brackendale and was a teacher at the Whistler Children's Centre and Spring Creek Children's Centre. Sarah loved her job and the communities where she lived and worked. From the moment my family and I arrived in Squamish we knew that love was reciprocated, but we never expected to be embraced by such a caring community where everyone we met immediately embraced and helped us cope with our loss.
I would like to thank the communities of Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton for the support we received. I would be remiss if I did not mention and acknowledge the dedication and professionalism of some of the people we met, including: the paramedics on the scene; the coroner Brian Pothier; RCMP Cpl. Dave Ritchie; the RCMP Victims Services representative, Diane Adams; George and Mildred McKenzie of the Squamish Funeral Chapel who took charge and provided guidance and support and helped our family and Sarah's friends and colleagues bring closure to this tragedy; to Father Angelo who spoke at the service; to the ICBC representative Pauline Hamalainen for assuring us our needs would be met and then following through; and to the night manager at the Squamish Mountain Retreat Hotel, Lynette Goss who assisted us in our every request.
But, most of all, we would like to thank Sarah's friends and the families of the children Sarah cared for and loved, you are amazing and should be so proud of the communities where you live, you will never know how deeply you touched all of us.
Visualize art on the waterfront
First, if you haven't already, drive out to Squamish's Oceanfront (Nexen Lands) and see for yourself the potential this land holds.
Then visualize a green park space, overlooking the ocean, large enough to accommodate a community festival, the start of a bike race or adventure race, a carnival, windsurfers and kite-boarders off in the distance, benches to have a picnic at, and art sculptures.
Then visualize a Community Arts and Cultural Centre next to this park space, a multipurpose building of any size, perhaps designed by Arthur Erickson (the architect who designed the very impressive Anthropology Museum)...
Okay, now visualize the land being sold off to a developer and a hotel or condos placed in this space with the land never to be owned again by the District of Squamish. Will you go loiter in the lobby of the hotel just so you can enjoy the ocean view?
My point is, at the very least, we need to express our concern that this small precious gem of real estate (a.k.a. "South Beach") remain under the ownership of the District of Squamish. At the very least, keep this amenity in our own hands until we decide what to do with it exactly. Even if we do nothing with it and sell it off years from now, it will surely be worth more money later on.
We need to be sure that the oceanfront planners are indeed doing "smart growth" planning to accommodate how Squamish may be 50 years from now.
We need to hold tight onto "South Beach" and call the prime real estate spot our own, that which all the community can enjoy, a place we can honour ourselves in being the "Outdoor Recreational Capital of Canada".
This is a serious issue with decisions being made very fast. If we don't speak up now, we could be saying to each other "what a shame the DOS sold off our oceanfront".
VISUALS (The Squamish Artist Society)
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