Community is stronger
This is an open letter to all the residents of Whitehorse and the surrounding communities.
There has been a lot of coverage lately on the violence surrounding the drug activity and certain people involved as of late.
There has been a group of Yukoners who have together to stand up and try to put an end to the violence.
Many things have been said and have been written about the going on as of late.
Stories get exaggerated and sometimes the truth can be twisted.
I was there, at the park on Wednesday night when a bunch of people came together to try and bring some sort of peace back to the community.
There were people pf all races, backgrounds and beliefs.
There were people who grew up here, parents who want their children to grow up in peace and people who had just moved here.
This made me proud to be a Yukoner.
The individuals behind a lot of the violence are dangerous and showing up was a big risk for many of the people involved.
They have simply reached a point where they have said enough is enough.
It used to be safe to go out to dances and the bars, but now many people do not because they are scared.
In spite of rumours going around, we just want the violence to end. Whitehorse is not the set of Goodfellows where certain people can do whatever they want with no repercussions. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Some of you may read this, pause to reflect, and then go about your day.
The time has come to take a stand for our community. I have talked with many people who have only been in the Yukon a short time but have seen how bad things have become and were willing to do whatever it takes to make the streets safe.
Drugs will always be around, but open violence and brutality do not need to be around.
This is an open invitation to all the media, church pastors, government leaders, community volunteers and citizens to join us at Rotary Peace Park in the early afternoon on Saturday, July 29 for a peaceful gathering.
There is no leader, just people who want peace and will do whatever it takes to get that peace back.
We need support. The people we are up against are tough, but they cannot match a community that has banded together because that is stronger than any weapon.
We will all be gathering in the park Saturday afternoon to show support for one another and for our community and our families.
Let’s make it a big barbecue and real community event. There is strength in numbers. No longer can we sit idly by and watch our town go to Hell.
So here’s to peace and seeing everyone come out Saturday. Just having you there tanning, or throwing a Frisbee or walking your dog will show these people we mean business and we are something stronger than any weapon, a community.
Name withheld by request
With presidents like this, who needs an anti-Christ?
During this past week, in reaction to the horrific violence and loss of civilian life in the Middle East, the Bush administration’s secretary of state and namesake of Chevron Corporation’s 136,000-tonne oil tanker, Condoleezza Rice dismissed the notion of calling for an end to the fighting.
“A ceasefire would be a false promise,” she stated at a news conference, adding that it would likely be “a guarantee of further violence.”
Am I missing something here?
As UN Secretary General Kofi Annan made clear while stating the obvious, a ceasefire does not preclude the option and the need for subsequent negotiations to achieve a longer-lasting peace in the region.
The point is that, so long as there are innocent lives being lost on either side of this conflict, the situation should be deemed totally unacceptable.
Certainly an immediate ceasefire should be called for, unless of course, you have ulterior motives for not wanting the murderous aggression to end … or at least, not just yet.
Could it be that, so long as Israel is attacking Hezbollah’s forces in Lebanon, they are doing the Bush administration’s dirty work?
This would explain the “rush” delivery of weapons from the US to Israel, as reported by the New York Times — a move, which was seen as highly unusual by some military commanders.
Or could it be that, so long as Israel is bombing civilian infrastructure and residential neighbourhoods in Lebanon with an astounding and disproportionate degree of force as compared to the rocket attacks by Hezbollah, the resulting news coverage causes a welcome absence of news about Iraq? — another disastrous region of conflict created by this administration, which has contributed to the nosedive of Bush’s approval ratings with a crucial mid-term election coming up.
Whatever the reason, the Bush administration’s failure to support peace over mass murder is in stark contrast to Bush’s alleged love of life.
Also during this past week, Bush used his veto authority for the first time as president to reject a bill, which would have lifted a ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. “This bill would support the taking of innocent human life,” he said.
Hearing the US president refer to human life with such reverence at the same time that his secretary of state declares that the killing of hundreds of innocent people should continue is beyond ironic.
The only thing more disturbing than how Bush’s foreign policy reveals a complete disregard for innocent human life is the manner in which he conceals it with deceit and false testimony.
If, according to Bush’s own Christian faith, there is an anti-Christ on the way, the administration of George W. Bush is going to be a tough act to follow.
Middle East history
For some reason I have always remembered the assassination in July 1948 of Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden — the UN’s special envoy who had the impossible task of overseeing the creation of the British Mandate Territory — Palestine — into the new Jewish homeland after the end of the Second World War.
This situation was created by the West out of guilt for what happened to the Jews before and during the Second World War by Hitler but totally lacking any awareness that this territory was supposedly already the homeland for the Palestinians — a nomadic peoples.
These were the people that the now famous Lawrence of Arabia guided and fought with against the occupying Turks in the First World War and who was subsequently betrayed after the war’s end by his own people — the British — who were given this area to “manage” by the then newly formed League of Nations as a mandate territory under British control and not returned to the Palestinians to whom it really belonged and to whom it had been promised.
To the winner go the spoils I guess!
Lawrence never got over this betrayal by his own government to these nomadic people who had become his friends and to whom he’d made a promise that his government would restore the land to them at the war’s end.
The anger and resentment that followed this giving of the Mandated Territory by the West to the Jewish people after the Second World War is understandable when one realizes the ingredients that have contributed to the present situation.
Their resentment towards the colonial West has been fostered by the Islamic extremists to suite their own malevolent interests.
I’d like to acknowledge the efforts and thank the organizing committee and volunteers of the Western Canadian Orienteering Championships.
Orienteers from across Western Canada, the United States and overseas attended this event.
Whitehorse has hosted the western championships before and even hosted the Canadian Orienteering Championships in 2004.
It is little wonder people keep returning to Whitehorse for these events — we have tremendous terrain for orienteering and even more importantly we have tremendous people involved in orienteering in our community.
The western championships and the Canadian championships are large, complex events that take months of planning by large groups of dedicated volunteers.
These are the same people who are putting on events every second Wednesday evening in Whitehorse during the summer.
One of the great things about orienteering is there really is a tradition of there being something for every level of ability at every event.
I was hardly competitive in this weekend’s events, but I certainly enjoyed myself (and have the blisters to prove it).
You find the same thing at the Wednesday night meets — nationally competitive orienteers (Whitehorse is home to a few) find challenges, and families with kids and dogs have a fun time as well.
Given that we perhaps live in the foremost location for orienteering in Canada, I’d urge everyone to give orienteering a try.
The worst thing that can happen is that you have a nice walk in the woods!
To get started, you need a good pair of walking shoes and a desire to spend a bit of time outdoors.
There are always people on hand to help get novices pointed in the right direction, and compass skills are not mandatory for novice courses.
Next meet is Wednesday, July 26th at Long Lake — for more information orient your browser to http://www.yukonorienteering.ca.
See you in the woods!