Letter to editor: ‘Quest slighted’ Wednesday March 3, 2010 (Yukon News)

I am writing to express great dissatisfaction with the Yukon News for the complete lack of any news regarding the Yukon Quest. In recent issues there was not a mention of the  great race that symbolizes so much of what the Yukon is all about.

I have followed the Yukon Quest for 27 years and I have read the Yukon News for 30 years, as long as I can remember the News was a part of the Quest reporting. Why has this  suddenly changed this year? Did you bow to animal right activists who often write to the editor? I hope not. I do support them having a forum to voice their opinions, most of  which I do not agree with, but a place for them to speak is important.

The Yukon Quest is so much a part of the Yukon and your newspaper the Yukon News is “The” paper that travels to all the Yukon communities keeping them up to date with all  the news.

Over the past few years the quality of local news coverage has been greatly reduced. If I wanted to buy Scripps Howard News I would buy the New York newspaper. If the local  coverage continues to be poor I will have to evaluate if it is worth the price of the paper.

I must add that I have been an advertiser with you for the past 10 years, to the tune of about $8,000. Lately about the only thing going for the Yukon News has been the  classified section. Local coverage of news, sports and Yukon culture is a very important role your newspaper provides for all Yukoners. Please step up to the plate and put the “Yukon” back into the Yukon News.

Trevor Braun, Whitehorse

[Had a good laugh over this letter by Trevor Braun. He obviously has not been reading the News’ Yukon Quest coverage too closely (at least in the last few years). Did he miss  reading about drunken race volunteers possibly endangering the lives of both human and canine race participants? Did he miss hearing about the “1,000 huskies” who go through  the Fairbanks animal pound every year (the vast majority of the dogs are cast-offs from dog mushers)? Did he miss the numerous stories about the questional competence of the  Quest race organization itself? Why did Mr. Braun neglect to mention that he once was a Quest race participant himself? And nice subtle threat about discontinuing advertising his  outdoor adventure business in the Yukon News!]

Letter to editor ‘Your photo choice was ironic’ – Whitehorse Star, March 5/2010
Whitehorse Star Editor’s note: this letter, submitted by Lily Gontard, is also addressed to the Yukon Quest.

It was with some surprise that I saw my own picture used in an advertisement for the Yukon Quest in the Mar. 3 edition of the Whitehorse Star.

Of course, I am flattered that you would consider using my portrait (and it is one of my many good sides) to promote the mighty Quest.

Alas, there is some irony in your choice of model to depict the ultimate sled dog.

Truth be told, you don’t get a fur and physique like mine living in a dog yard or by pulling a sled.

My classic husky looks are the result of years regular brushing, pedicures, working out with my private trainer, belly and neck rubs, riding in the front seat of the car, a balanced  diet (no raw fish or meat – the toxins!) and a handy supply of dog biscuits.

There’s a lot of meditation involved, too.

The true irony of this situation is that I was born in a Whitehorse sled dog yard and my life would’ve been cut short because myself and my three siblings were slated for the  spring cull.

But thanks to a noble musher from Skagway who took us home, our lives were spared.

Shortly after arriving in Skagway, I found a home with an attentive human companion from Whitehorse who’s never judged me for being big-boned … and she has supported me  in my creative and athletic pursuits ever since. Props, human companion!

You can understand why my views on the Yukon Quest are mixed: I enjoy sport and I support my brothers and sisters in their efforts, but if it wasn’t for that kind-hearted musher  from Skagway, I wouldn’t be here today.

And you wouldn’t have used that fabulous photo of me in your ad.

Keep on howling because I will,


Letter to editor ‘Who champions the four-legged champions?’
March 5, 2010

Email message from ‘lone spokesperson’ for CBC Yukon, March 8, 2010

Hey Terry.

Always enjoy the detail and attention you put into your cause.

However… before you put Genesee Keevil on a pedestal… you should know she’s a musher… and keeps a bunch of dogs on her property at Squatter’s Row.

Just thought you should know.


Al Foster
CBC North
Whitehorse Yukon

[Doesn’t CBC have highly-paid communications people to respond to the well-deserved criticism directed its way instead of relying on staffers with hurt feelings replying by way  of a condescending email message? And yes, I was well aware that Genesee Keevil was a dog musher and have noted such on this website since it was launched in Feb. 2007.  Send The Fifth Estate up to Squatters’ Row immediately to dig up some dirt on her dog mushing operation!]

Letter to editor: The city’s killings of dogs are no joke – Whitehorse Star, March 19, 2010

Animals are once again used as the butt or springboard of jokes on CBC radio. On Thursday, CBC’s Yukon A New Day crew played a “dog catcher” song prior to Sandi Coleman’s  interview with outgoing city bylaw manager John Taylor, a story the Star had broken the previous Monday. After this song, program director Roch Shannon Fraser appeared to  crank up the volume when he said, “We caught something!” The crew broke out with “Ha-ha-ha’s; hee-hee-hee’s.”

Can someone at the CBC please tell the public what is so funny with respect to animal cruelty? When will you stop using nonhumans as a pathetic joke? Do you find the fact that  Bylaw catches, kills, and has done nothing to address the ongoing problem facing dogs in Whitehorse, funny?

Did you know that Bylaw is now keeping the killing of animals in the pound confidential? Maybe CBC could ask a few tough questions for Mr. Taylor to answer, like, “Why is it now  a big secret on the amount of animals killed by the city?”

John Taylor is proud to remember the story of Trooper the dog (who was dragged down Hamilton Boulevard). Since charges were laid (thanks to concerned citizens) and  Trooper is in a good home, this is a good story to “remember,” said Mr. Taylor.

What? The Trevor the dog saga (which is still ongoing) isn’t a “story to remember”? Well, I guess not when the City of Whitehorse, led by Mr. Taylor, has spent upwards of  about $30,000 to kill Trevor. A story which has made national and international news. A story which the CBC failed to air correctly despite many resources at its ready. Why did  the CBC bother showing-up in court? Just so one of their high-profile “reporters” could jokingly ask Mr. Taylor, “Is he still barking?” – referring to Trevor?

Speaking of animals, when will CBC Yukon take a break from giving the exploiters and killers of nonhumans a stepping stone for the inhumane treatment of animals? Here is one  for you: How about interviewing YTG on the so-called new Animal Protection Act? Ask why, since this new act was amended, there appears to be no true protection for animals  in the Yukon? Ask why the exploiters and killers of, let’s say, dogs, don’t appear to be concerned that this act will affect the way they exploit “their” dogs.

The Animal Protection Act is truly an act that protects humans from doing pretty much anything they want to do to non-humans; an act which states it’s what humans want from  animals, not what is good for animals that drives government polices.

CBC: please put public money at work; investigate the subjects of your report!

For the animals!

Mike Grieco

P.S. I hope the ignorant, rude and appalling person who phoned me regarding my letters to the editor would please go public with what you said to me. Otherwise, find a positive way to relax – without killing animals.