Re Highway Lodges on the endangered list (The News, November 22):
Who do I get in touch with to try to help some of the lodges on the Alaska Highway?
It is so sad that these beautiful stopping places are slowly going out of business because of the government and its BS.
My husband has trucked up and down the Alaska Highway for more than 30 years and where he would be without these stopping places is beyond my wildest dreams.
Most of these stopping places are like family to the truckers. I have seen them having dinner with their families and a trucker walks in and they invite him to sit with them and have supper at no cost.
I have seen them play cards with a lonesome old trucker who has been away from home so long that all he knows is this Alaska Highway family.
I remember when Helen Richter, of J&J Wilderness Lodge at Muncho Lake, used to cook my husband Kraft dinner as he wanted a meal like home.
Now the government is slowly driving Swift River out of business.
That is very different. It won’t let them cook or use the water, but it has been proven time and again that the water is not contaminated.
They need to put in a new septic system. What that has to do with the water not being used is not quite clear to me — especially when it has been proven the water is not contaminated.
This has been proven so many times that, finally, they told them to quit sending in samples as it was just a waste of time.
A waste of whose time?
Now the lodge owners are receiving a $1,200 fine because they have not put in a new septic system.
How many times will they be fined? They can’t afford to pay it.
Now Bryant and Gail Jeeves from the Bear Creek Lodge could go bankrupt because they can’t put in a new $20,000 septic system upgrade.
These people are in their 70s; this is their life and the government is going to let them lose everything?
They have to move into their daughter’s basement because that is all there is left for them. Everything they have put into this place is lost.
I bet Gail Jeeves really needs this extra burden right now as her husband struggles with Alzheimer’s.
The Jeeves sold their lodge once, and some imbecile left them high and dry by not paying the mortgage. It had also been trashed. They had to sell their house and move back.
I wonder what happened to the morons that left these poor people in this predicament?
What is happening to our world when we leave our elderly out in the cold, put good honest people out of business and just generally screw everything up? What next?
These people who are making these decisions have no idea.
I travel the highway myself now as I have a pilot car business and it is so nice at 3 a.m. in the morning to come around a curve and see the lights of a friendly little truck stop like Swift River.
You stop in there and the wood fire is going, the attendant comes and sits down and visits with you for a couple of hours and you get back in your vehicle feeling better.
The people who shut these good people down are at home in some big city sleeping in their warm bed with not a care in the world.
They have no idea what it takes to sustain the north country highways.
Do they know how groceries, school supplies, light bulbs, toilet paper, toothpaste, cigarettes, liquor and various other things get there? Ninety-nine per cent of it gets there by truck.
These truckers spend many months away from home to do their jobs.
It used to be nice that you could stop at a truck stop, but that is soon to be a thing of the past if the government keeps up its hogwash.
I know that one little person can’t do any good, but the good people at Swift River had a petition that had more than 2,000 names on it. And that didn’t do any good either.
What do we have to do to stop this government BS?
On the morning of October 29th, we were driving west beside Sheep Mountain in Kluane National Park.
Coming around a corner, we slowed down because a pickup truck was parked on the right shoulder of the highway, and we observed the following:
Down the steep slope on the left came a shower of dust, rocks and the tumbling carcass of a small-horned Dall sheep, which landed with a thud in the ditch beside the highway.
Taking a closer look, we observed two First Nations men, one 50 metres up the slope and a second waiting beside the pickup.
Later that day, we spoke to two Kluane First Nation gentlemen about our observations.
Both expressed disgust and dismay and one indicated that this was an ongoing problem at Sheep Mountain.
There are ways to put a stop to this.
According to the principles of self-government, First Nations are empowered to write enforceable bylaws governing the behavior of their citizens on traditional lands.
Perhaps it is time to exercise these responsibilities.
Prevention of incidents such as this would be most welcome in order to keep Sheep Mountain and its wildlife a treasure for all Yukoners and our visitors.
International Volunteer Day takes place on December 5th each year and is officially recognized by the United Nations.
It is a day on which volunteers in all countries are celebrated for their contributions and dedication.
Volunteers come from all walks of life, representing all ages and demographics. They work to improve the lives of their neighbours and, in return, enhance their own.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of our communities, providing us with a sense of connectedness and well-being.
Volunteering allows us to give of ourselves, share our wealth, and express our human values of community and caring while finding solutions to shared challenges.
Across Canada, there are more than 12 million people donating their time and talents.
The approximately 1.9 billion hours of volunteer time contributed in 2004 represents the equivalent of just over one million full-time year-round jobs (National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, June 2004).
Here in the Northern BC & Yukon region, the Canadian Red Cross benefits from the skill and expertise of a core group of approximately 150 volunteers.
This number swells dramatically during disasters or times of crisis.
Volunteers organize, lead, educate, mentor and train. They donate, give, respond, repair, communicate, befriend, and lend a helping hand.
They are the young, the old and the in-between, and they are everywhere — across the North, across the nation, and around the world.
I encourage all your readers to join with us to celebrate and pay tribute to all volunteers on International Volunteer Day.
Chris Bone, director, Northern BC & Yukon Region, Canadian Red Cross