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Another person who loves open views

Thanks to M. Sarling for sharing her question, “Have we no rights?” in the July 4 edition of The Local.

Last week I was at my daughter’s, sitting at the dining table.  I looked out to see the sunset and felt sick; actually angry.  Six years ago she and her husband bought a view lot. I remember that day, sitting on a log looking across the open lawns and seeing the water of the Strait and the mountains on Vancouver Island.  We dreamed of the day when the house would be built and how nice it would be.  When the house was built, the west side was all windows.

They could see the cruise ships sail by and Nanaimo lights in the evening.  But then those kind neighbors next door moved away. New neighbors disliked animals, dogs and wandering deer.  They wanted a fence.  My son-in-law built one.  Then came a truck load of fully grown cedars for a hedge.  With much pleading,  the neighbor decided to leave a little area open so my family could have a peek-a-boo view. But then up went a shed. Next the blackberries started crowding in over his deer fence.  The former owner of the property still had the land at the back.  He promised to keep that area clear for the view, but the ‘new’ neighbour objected to the blackberry bushes being taken down. That property owner left and has not returned. The entire view is gone. Alders have grown and maple trees have sprung up as well.  My daughter is now in a wheelchair feeling much like a prisoner.  Yes, I ask too, should there be a bylaw in place to protect homeowners from overzealous neighbours?  According to the news the past two days, it seems our courts think not!

E. Slaney, Sunshine Coast


No more garbage
at Gospel Rock

If you’ve walked out to Gospel Rock within the last few years, you have most likely seen the endless amount of garbage that is being dumped. Everything you can imagine from cans and bottles to drywall, insulation, bathtubs, roofing material, bike and car parts, and everything in between.  Much of it right out in front of you, and a whole lot hidden away on trails, just waiting for you to discover as you’re trying to have a peaceful, back to nature walk.

Gibsons Bylaw Enforcement Officer Sue Booth is well aware of the ongoing problem, and has personally worked to try and clean it up. Booth stated that one of the major concerns is the risk of fire, as we have no way of knowing what materials may be hidden on the property.

The town of Gibsons has been in contact with the owners, and has made efforts to police the area to stop the dumping. So far Booth has managed to catch only one person. Now there seems to be new hope that this beautiful area will be cleaned up.  James Ridge, newly appointed caretaker of the property, plans to begin a cleanup to be conducted over the next month or two.

Ridge indicated that it could take some time, given the amount that needs be loaded up and hauled away, and that his employer will be paying him load by load. When asked about the old derelict trailer, Ridge confirmed that it would be removed as well.

The gate at the front will now be locked at night, to deter people from dumping, but will be open during the day. Ridge stated that the public are welcome to come up and hike the property, however this has not yet been confirmed by the property owners.

Jeremy Bevan, Sunshine Coast


Water is a
precious resource

Great column, Jim. If the hotel has been approved for Lower Gibsons, it will be great for tourists. However, it will be major assault on our already curtailed water supply. I personally believe it is too late to try and educate most adults on the Sunshine Coast.

Years ago, my neighbour held a very responsible position in the community. Late at night, I observed him watering his lawn and garden.  If a vehicle drove by his house, he would quickly shut off the water until the vehicle passed. I provided that information to the SCRD but it didn’t deter him from continuing.

I have witnessed men going into a public washroom, turning the tap on fully, and dampening their comb. While primping, the tap was left on, wasting our valuable water supply. I have also witnessed housewives turning on a tap, and, being interrupted by a telephone call, leave the water running while conversing. I personally turned the tap off on several occasions.

I suggest that schools should set up a program whereby students are made aware of how precious water is to our existence and then they can decide for themselves whether or not they wish to waste it. After some education, the students might be helpful by pointing out water wastage to their parents when observed, in their home.

Don Hensler, Sunshine Coast


A debate for
the millennia

Moira Sarling wants the wonderful view that nature has provided. But she would like some tree pruning to enhance the view. Man versus nature. A tie, I think.

Protect the remaining old growth forest, says J. Oxley. Another tie.The battle goes on. If nature had its way, and all cutting and pruning was stopped for say twenty, or fifty, or two hundred years, what would the Google view look like? Solid green with a few either natural or man made scars. Or, like parts of South America, ancient civilizations uncovered after thousands of years.

Let’s concede. There is no winner here. It’s a tie ever since Mister Carbon and Mrs. Hydrogen stepped out of the ancient swamp and made a life together.

Bernard McGrath, 

S unshine Coast


Waste Water Treatment Plant Construction Site

Maple Reinders Inc. is the constructor of the new Sechelt Wastewater Treatment Plant at Ebbtide, which began site work in mid June.

We understand there is concern amongst neighbouring  residents about potential house damage caused by vibrations from construction activities at the Ebbtide site and we would like to clear up any confusion or concerns on this matter. Firstly, there will not be any pile driving at the site – the ground conditions are such that this is not required – the new treatment plant is being built with slab and strip footings, as is normally done.

However, compaction of the ground, and of base material, by vibrating roller, is required to achieve compaction standards, similar to what is done for roadworks. Maple Reinders Inc works to minimize the impact of this and our experience is that neighbouring residents will experience some vibration, but that it is not enough to cause damage to houses. If residents have particularly fragile items on walls/shelves, they may wish to put them away for the next week. Compaction activity is expected to be complete by July 18.

Maple Reinders is committed to building the best project with the least disruption to neighbouring residents. We apologize for the inconvenience, and appreciate you patience during this period.

Cameron Morris, 

Maple Reinders Inc.


Civility versus hostility 

My wife and I attended the Sechelt Council meeting of July 3 where we witnessed yet another rude and juvenile demonstration of bad manners toward Mayor and Council from naysayers of the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Not for the first time either.

Betty Ann Pap has apparently become the ‘Poster Child’ for said naysayers, perhaps in the hope of garnering the sympathy of the outside world. It is, after all, much easier for someone such as she to accuse Mayor and Council of bullying than it would be for her rudely spoken supporters to do likewise.

Betty Ann gave a long drawn out diatribe chastising Mayor Henderson – much to the disrespectful cacophony of her fellow naysayers. Though given ten minutes to voice her point she attempted a number of times to drag things on; by what right does she think she should be able to take liberty with Government protocol? Adding insult to injury, one of her supporters saw fit to start venting his views by way of crass comments and personal slurs to Mayor and Council, totally inappropriate! In fairness, as I understand it, he did have the decency to call up the next day and apologize for his outburst.

A petition with 374 signatures opposing the plant was presented to Council. Now, with almost 9000 people in Sechelt 374 detractors doesn’t cut much mustard by my calculations.

After all is said and done, it still seems illogical to pump poop uphill to Lot L. Perhaps Betty Ann knows something I don’t know? What I do know is that a little common decency goes a very long way at these meetings and especially from those of us old enough to know better.

Geoff White, Sechelt



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