Letter to the Editor

Our rich culture I was fascinated to read about the recent discovery and reconstruction of Canada’s oldest moccasin found in the Yukon.

Our rich culture

I was fascinated to read about the recent discovery and reconstruction of Canada’s oldest moccasin found in the Yukon.

Being more than 1,400 years old, and very similar to the footwear still made by the First Nations, it is rather ironic that this Rendezvous will feature a special display of traditional and new First Nation crafts — art skills inherited from the past.

In western culture, about the same time, the great Roman Empire finally fell to the barbarians and went into the Dark Ages.

A small remnant of Christian monks fled to the rocky coast of Ireland and the Island of Iona, taking many classical books along, and for a 100 years kept civilization alive by recopying them in their tiny stone huts, awaiting the time of Charlemagne.

How fortunate we are today to have a small remnant of First Nation elders who have kept their art and craft tradition alive and have taught them to a new generation.

Don’t miss the Yukon/NWT Aboriginal Fashion Show, February 23 7 to 9 p.m. at the Elijah Smith Building.

The crafts shows take place at the same location Friday 2 to 7 p.m. and on Saturday at the Golden Age Centre from 1 to 5 p.m.

These are wonderful opportunities to start, or add, to your art collection. 

Pat Ellis

Whitehorse

A waterfront view

I live out of town so do not get the papers everyday. However, I feel that I have read enough of the debate on the waterfront to want to add a comment.

The waterfront needs life, public space that is multi-user friendly.

Most activity will be spring, summer and fall use — just because we live where we do. It would make sense to plan at least some space for this type of three-season use.

Last summer, I was a regular vendor at the Farmer’s Market. For those of you who were consumers, I believe that we established a quality, practical and fun way to shop locally.

This supported the farmers, crafts people and performers from our local community.

As vendors, we also had a very good time.

We made money — for some the difference between having to take outside work or surviving from what they made.

Over the years, I have marketed through galleries, art shows, co-ops and on the road. The arrangement at the Farmer’s Market last summer would be my first choice of marketing scenarios.

As vendors, we spent at least three hours per market in setup and breakdown. Imagine if there were a simple roofed-over structure, with electrical outlets to accommodate food vendors, lighting, etc.

Imagine a courtyard facing the river, with a performance area.

Imagine half-decent bathrooms. And then imagine the life that could grow from these basic ingredients, combined with what we know happened at the market last summer.

We would have an event, every Thursday, that generated local income, was free to the public, and left the facilities free for other public use the rest of the time. 

Its not rocket science, folks, it just really makes sense.  

Shiela Alexandrovich

Whitehorse

 

Danger road

Re Deadly patch of highway (The News Feb. 17):

I have to agree to disagree with Carole Bookless’ comments regarding posted speed limits through Rabbit’s Foot Canyon.

Last I checked, that section of roadway remains billed as a highway.

It should serve to expedite traffic as opposed to restricting it, as nearly every other municipality in Canada has figured out how to do.

For some reason, engineering in Whitehorse seems intent on backpedaling.

Granted, there are times of the year (not many) that sections of the road are more treacherous than others.

The posted limit is based on good driving conditions — on days that are questionable, speed reductions are up to the discretion of the drivers (read: common sense).

I dispute that further speed reductions along the highway in any area will serve to make the highway safer.

What I do propose, however, is widening the roadway in key areas. In this way, slower and turning traffic will not impede those traveling at the posted limit.

I agree with the suggestion of a barrier between lanes as proposed, providing the roadway remains sufficiently wide to accommodate turning traffic onto the Fish Lake Road (which is marked as such and not confusing at all).

There are a number of areas that would benefit from turning lanes, although I would believe that twinning of the section from McCrae to the Mayo Road would be far more cost effective in the long run than repeated knee-jerk solutions to problem areas.

Traffic flow on the Alaska Highway doesn’t need to be restricted any more than it is. let’s make it effective and efficient for everyone.

Sylvia Achter

Whitehorse

Kind words for Whitehorse

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Whitehorse on behalf of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and the Canadian Paraplegic Association, two organizations in your community improving the quality of life for persons with disabilities.

The people of your community are friendly and hospitable and I was pleased to be able to visit the newly built Canada Games Centre.

It is an impressive facility and I appreciate the effort that was taken to make it wheelchair accessible, which includes many aspects of Universal Access Design.

For example, automatic doors, use of colour contrast for low vision, accessible pool, weight room and playing surfaces.

Such efforts make communities inclusive and welcoming to all citizens.

I also had the opportunity to use the Handy Bus (parallel city transit for people with disabilities) and, though the service is extremely busy, they were able to accommodate my transportation needs on one-hour’s notice.

I was very impressed by this and wish to convey my appreciation for their efforts.

I would also like to thank STARS, the wheelchair recreation association, Ramesh Ferris and Joel Macht for hosting a wheelchair basketball skills and drills camp.

Everyone was very welcoming and gracious.

Thank you, Whitehorse for making my visit such a pleasant experience.

Pat Harris, RRP, regional supervisor,

BC Paraplegic Association

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