Letter to the Editor

Pathetic I am not sure that I understand the point of Making tracks at 810 Wheeler (the News on July 27.

Pathetic

I am not sure that I understand the point of Making tracks at 810 Wheeler (the News on July 27.)

Whitehorse police and the community as a whole have been fighting an uphill battle for at least three years with the local and transient drug dealers!

I don’t understand the purpose of publishing a full page about a local dirt bag.

There are a lot of exciting things that happened in Whitehorse this summer and over the last months, and this is what we get out of our local paper?

My daughter is 11 years old, going into Grade 6, and one of the things she learned this past year was to take an interest in the local media and read the newspaper on a regular basis.

After picking up the News on July 31, she won’t get a chance to read this paper again because I’ll never buy it again after today.

I’d much rather have article open on my coffee table for my family to read about how well small businesses are doing in our growing community, volunteer efforts at Marsh Lake and Tagish for struggling families, or upcoming events such as Discovery Day.

Instead we get to read about the open wounds that are oozing with pus, and how many customers Chris Ouellet gets in a day. Not to mention that the whole community knows (including my 11-year-old daughter) that Chris has never put a needle in his “dink.”

What message does your article send out by giving Ouellet the opportunity to state that he has no regrets and given the chance to do it all over again he wouldn’t change a thing?

He loves being an infected loser.

If he only knew how badly all of Whitehorse would love to write a full-page article about the pain and suffering our families have been through because of his pathetic “business.”

You should be ashamed of this interview!

Kerri Thompson

Whitehorse

Message received

I read your article in the Friday News on Chris Ouellet and cocaine and yes, I did have a very negative reaction.

But in discussing the article with other adults, I decided that it was not the article, but what Ouellet said about his life and lifestyle with cocaine that “ticked me off.”

If this article was to be written and sanctioned by the News, it was wise to use mostly “Chris’ own words” and not editorialize.

After my initial reaction, I decided to see what younger people thought.

First I had my 20-year-old daughter read it. She too could see through Chris’ bravado and that the only one he was fooling was himself.

So I next had my teenage niece and nephews read it. We then used it in a group discussion to discuss drugs and the long-term effects down the road, and what did Ouellet truly have at this point in his life.

We also broadened the discussion to life in general, goals, and other opportunities out there and what they wanted to do with their lives.

I was surprised, but pleased, to hear that these teens that I knew were pretty drug savvy and that they realized that if they wanted to get where they were going, Ouellet’s path was not for them.

Kathryn Secord

Whitehorse

An advertisement for drugs

Why on earth would you waste a whole page on a pitiful individual who considers normal working people boring lowlifes and promotes a lifestyle and a language which is absolutely disgusting.

I am horrified that your News reporter, Genesee Keevil, uses the freedom in journalism to promote such garbage.

That article was nothing more than an advertisement for drugs and an insult towards all the mothers and fathers who weep over their children who are no more because of drugs.

Marietta Alge

Haines Junction

Solutions, not judgment

I appreciate the letter to the editor by the former addict. It’s easy to judge, not so easy to suggest a solution.

My husband works with teens, but we were both shocked. But then, who wouldn’t be? I’m encouraged that people are shocked and angered. Many youth are becoming desensitized by violent video games and violent or sexually explicit movies.

Chris Ouellet has traded one deadly addiction for another, but there’s hope. It’s possible to stay in one “place” for so long that you think you belong there.

I echo the former addict’s invitation to a better life. It’s possible. If Ouellet or others choose to look for it, people are there to help.

Few of us know what a dealer’s life is like. The coarse language and gory details bothered me, but it’s Ouellet’s story, not mine. It’s real and it’s honest.

This is another opportunity to listen to our teens and to find out what they think and feel.

And, perhaps if we are saddened enough by this, or angered enough or shocked enough, we’ll come up with some real solutions.

Jo-Anne Holmes

Whitehorse

Summertime sled dog abuse

My compliments to Genesee Keevil on her illuminating article featuring Quest musher/sled dog tour operator Michelle Phillips (the News, August 1).

It was interesting to learn how some of the four-legged members of ‘Yukon’s version’ of a chain gang spend their summer.

In the article, Phillips took the opportunity to lob a couple of potshots at the views of people who concern themselves with animal rights issues.

As one of ‘those people’ I would willingly accept Phillips’ quotes and philosophy about dog mushing, however my memory was twigged to an another article (the News, February 21 — also by Keevil) I remembered reading during the 2007 Quest.

Phillips’s quote was: “Never trust a musher — we’re all full of bullshit.” Sounds reasonable to me.

Some friendly advice for Phillips: If you would like to give your hoards of dog tour customers (“seven days a week from the beginning of May through the end of September”) an authentic sled dog experience (from the viewpoint of the dogs), why don’t you offer to tie these people up on short chains for one day and night, making them “do their business” within a circle six-feet in diameter?

Heck, invite them back for a winter version of the experience.

I am sure that the Tourism Industry Association of Yukon (the president of the lobby group also owns a large sled dog tour business — Stephen Reynolds, the Quest general manager, sits on the board) would be more than happy to help advertise this new ‘Yukon adventure.’

With regard to the Quest, members of your dog racing brethren were responsible for killing three dogs in the 2007 race (many more dogs were injured).

It is my stated opinion that Quest mushers take chances with the health and the very lives of their dogs.

What else is to be expected when you people run these ‘athletes’ up to (and over) a hundred miles a day for the better part of two weeks every February?

Three dogs were also killed in the 2007 ‘Idiotarod,’ including a young female dog who had been a member of a team that was viciously beaten by their master further back along the trail.

The dog team had decided amongst themselves that they had had enough of the bloody race and did not want to continue (dog teams have also been known to quit in the Quest).

It is getting to be a ‘full-time job’ trying to keep on top of all the dog mushing propaganda/bullshit churned out by local media.

Can we not get a break, at least until the snow returns (all too soon)?

Terry Cumming

SledDogWATCHDOG.com

Whitehorse

Hard time or compassion?

I reiterate: I have advice for anyone concerned about the condition of the Whitehorse Correctional Centre. Don’t go there!

If you commit the crime, you will do the time. Nobody is forcing you to break the law.

Perhaps the reason people are more concerned over zoo animals than prisoners is that zoo animals were incarcerated without having done anything wrong.

Counseling and rehabilitation are good things but very little consideration is given to the victims of these criminals.

Some are left physically or emotionally scarred. Some are left financially ruined. They have little recourse.

Our prisoners have it easy. In some countries, a man gets his hand chopped off for stealing.

Drug dealers and murderers are executed. So are rapists.

Justice isn’t delayed five or 10 years. People do hard time.

We need a new jail, but only so nobody escapes.

Dale Worsfold

Watson Lake

Thanks for your help

Our heartfelt thanks to all those who helped in our time of need during the record flooding in the Southern Lakes, especially Marsh Lake.

From the initial sandbagging efforts organized by the Whitehorse Rotary Club on July 7; the following government response from EMO, firefighters, Energy, Mines & Resources and Highways; Marsh Lake Fire Department and Ambulance; all the volunteers filling sandbags and to those who are still manning the big pumps 24/7… thank you for all you have done.

These were very stressful times for property and homeowners and we now have a much greater appreciation for those people we read about or see on TV from around the world when their property and homes are in danger or destroyed.

Our home could easily have suffered structural damage from the high water and wind erosion and without all your efforts we could not have prevented that by ourselves. THANK YOU!

Paule Senechal & Don Hutton

South McClintock, Marsh Lake