Letter to the Editor

Wounded granola munchers and flatulent ducks My goodness, did I touch a raw nerve or what? In my original letter I compared the Wind River Valley…

Wounded granola

munchers and

flatulent ducks

My goodness, did I touch a raw nerve or what?

In my original letter I compared the Wind River Valley to the Eagle River Valley and asked the media to do a better job of reporting some events — particularly winter roads.

On January 30, Richard Oziewicz offered a letter to the editor (‘Granola gang’ member bites back) in response.

That letter contained nothing but personal attacks, name-calling and a quote from Gandhi.

It did not address the Wind River Valley or Eagle River Valley.

I would like to add that the Yukon News supplied the title that he took offence to, not me.

It sounded like Dr. Suzuki on steroids.

Environmental issues obviously raise passions in some people. They are definitely a public concern.

My pro-development stance comes as a product of 30 years in the building trades.

Development means work: real jobs with real paycheques, not “would you like fries with that, sir?” type of jobs.

The only ones on the beach in Mexico are the tourism operators, rarely the employees.

As to Oziewicz’s letter, I have heard ducks fart in shallow water before. If that is the best the environmental movement can put forward, I fear that I can hear the bulldozers warming up already.

Neil Johnson


Slippery slope

Like many others, I can no longer sit silent regarding the Mt. Sima closure issue since many of the things I am hearing threaten to send us on a perilous journey down a slippery slope.

First, to even consider condemning a volunteer for any wrongdoing, whether by accident, inexperience or, yes, even incompetence is, in my opinion, biting the hand that feeds you — after all, anyone willing to give their own free time for the betterment of the community should be praised, plain and simple.

The real problem I see is that some nonprofit society facilities are having financial difficulties, and therefore initiate cost cutting measures. In this particular case, that may have led to grave safety issues.

To now expect a government bailout is indeed cause for concern because this is where the real slippery slope begins.

Should government save failing nonprofit societies every time they get into trouble?

This is the question because you can be assured that it won’t stop here. This will set a dangerous precedent for future claims.

Nonprofits must still run like any other business and be profitable to the point where they can maintain the business in good standing and, furthermore, generate additional funds for future capital projects. If not, they must close their doors.

It is OK for government to subsidize, if you will, such capital projects, but at a level that is acceptable to the community as a whole and also fair to all nonprofit societies and also does not compete with for-profit businesses.

The way I see it is that, for nonprofit societies to be successful, they must charge appropriate fees for their services, which is something that is not practised in Yukon.

It seems the general public is not willing to pay the appropriate fees for such services, or is naive about the enormous costs such facilities incur.

Remember, seniors do not pay anything at Mt. Sima and others users pay about 50 per cent less then they would at equivalent facilities in the South.

Whitehorse has some truly amazing facilities for a town of some 25,000 and in a region where outdoor recreation facilities are expensive and extremely difficult to maintain. I know this firsthand, having run such businesses for more than 25 years now.

If the people of Whitehorse really want to get behind these nonprofit societies and see them flourish then they should be willing to pay appropriate fees. Maybe then they will see improved services and a healthy nonprofit sector.

The only other solution would be to have Whitehorse run these facilities where any required subsidies would be through municipal taxes.

Jeff Luehmann

Via website

Local contractor

feels snubbed

I am the owner and operator of the Enterprise Skills consulting group, which bid on the project for the program study for the Department of Education.

I find it very interesting that the department of Education said that the local applicants did not meet the technical requirements.

I was also informed that I did not meet the technical requirements. I did request an explanation of how we were lacking in the technical side but received no answer.

It would seem that the Department of Education believes that someone who has had no experience in the Yukon is better suited to understand the relationships within our community.

I clearly do not understand the position or rationale.

Our application was headed by an internationally recognized project manager (a person who holds a PhD in project management, and lectures in the United States, United Kingdom, and Africa), who had extensive experience with projects of greater size and complexity.

Therefore we did have the external point of view and expertise.

The other members of the team were from the Yukon with extensive (20 years) experience as a teacher, administrator and consultant in Yukon education, as well as a professional consultant who develops and provides curriculum programs for industry and schools.

In addition, the team had a member who is a successful graduate of the Yukon educational system and has a clear voice to be heard on the issues of programs.

It is very difficult to understand the rationale for the decisions. I do agree that there is talent in the territory to do the work. We do not need to be trained in interviewing or gathering data.

We, the consultants of the Yukon, are very capable professionals who, if given the opportunity, would have provided an excellent, well documented and researched report that reflected the character and aspirations of the people who have a vested interest in the educational system.

I have taken a contract to complete a Strategic Plan for a University in West Africa.

Ken Agar


Single fathers count too

Regarding a social housing project for women, all I can say is, what about the single fathers out there with full custody of their children?

The stats keep increasing, more and more fathers are gaining full rights to their children.

So if the government is planning a new apartment building with an administrator and a daycare, I think it’s only suitable that a men’s building be adjoined to this plan as well.

Let’s join the times and help these wonderful single fathers out the best we can.

Jeanne Hadler