Park City bars test smokefree idea
PARK CITY, Utah – Because of the Mormon influence, Utah has a reputation for the straight-laced and narrow. Liquor, while available, is tightly prescribed. Ironically, when it comes to tobacco use, Utah seems to be more libertine than others.To wit, several Park City bars and restaurants are tepidly experimenting with the concept of a smoke-free evening. No, not a smoke-free day, but a smoke-free evening.One bar owner, Jesse Shetler, told The Park Record what while his business is participating in the smoke-free evening, that doesn’t mean it’s headed in that direction. Curiously, he also owns a restaurant that is smoke-free. He insists on the right of self-determination.The trend elsewhere goes in the opposite direction. In Colorado’s Summit County, smoking is banned at all bars and restaurants. Voters in Eagle County also banned smoking, although the individual towns have not. Ten states have banned smoking in bars and restaurants, as have Italy, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and New Zealand.Guide recalls deadly slide near Revelstoke CALGARY, Alberta – Ken Wiley carried a heavy load after an avalanche north of Revelstoke, B.C., that left seven people dead in 2003. In a way, he still does.An assistant guide on that expedition, he recalls guilt that weighted him heavily for a month. “I was angry for about a month afterward,” Wiley told a group in Calgary. “Then I realized it could easily go somewhere ugly, so I knew I had to make it into something positive. It becomes part of you. You have to go forward with it.”In skiing the backcountry, everyone makes little mistakes, Wiley told a group at an event covered by the Rocky Mountain Outlook. The key, he said, is to admit errors in decision-making and not sweep them under the carpet. “I came up with excuses why what happened on Durrand Glacier wasn’t my fault. We want people to perceive us as competent, so we don’t acknowledge responsibility. But if we sweep responsibility under the proverbial rug, we don’t learn from what happened.”Cost overruns blamed on steel and concreteWHISTLER, B.C. – From Vancouver and Whistler, which are scheduled to host the 2010 Winter Olympics, comes a familiar story. The organizing committee is planning to dip into the contingency funds for the province to pay for the event.The blame is being pointed at construction costs that are will have escalated 40 to 50 percent in just five years, thanks in part to the soaring costs of steel and concrete. Government officials said they recognized the need for a contingency fund, but insisted they have no money allocated beyond $620 million budgeted for venue construction and security. Some events have been dropped and other costs shaved in order to live within the allocated means.Banff grappling with limitations to growthBANFF, Alberta – Banff continues to grapple with a notion that most would find strange, if perhaps still admirable. Growth is capped.The town is located within Banff National Park, and in 1998 the federal government ruled there would be no expansion. All 350,000 square feet of commercial development then authorized has been distributed, if only a third has been used. The question for Banff residents has become whether to try get around this growth cap.Sentiments expressed at a recent public meeting suggest Banff wants to live within its existing britches, reports the Rocky Mountain Outlook. This is not a unanimous opinion, however. Some think that this growth cap will leave Banff steadily more elitist. The town government plans to do a study next year that plots economic trends. The town planning director, Randall Mckay, is firmly of the opinion that Banff will thrive, not stagnate, as a result of this growth cap.Why are immigrants drawn to join gangs?LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Hispanic gangs are becoming more influential on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, primarily in the Kings Beach area. The Tahoe World reports youth are being pressured to affiliate with the two dominant gangs, the Norteños and the Sureños.At a recent session called Growing Together, youths surprised even law-enforcement officials with how much they knew about gangs. For example, when asked to pick the hidden gang symbols contained within an elaborate pencil drawing, one 12-year-old girl found them immediately.Although high schools bar certain types of clothing in efforts to suppress gang affiliations, members display their allegiances by drawing sings on their hands or notebooks or by using other, more subtle symbols.Why the gangs? Some speakers at the session seemed to think that gangs are a substitute for shifting nationality. “They don’t know what their history is,” said Emilio Vaca, of immigrant children. One girl, 12 years old, was asked: “Do you feel like an America.” She replied: “I feel like a Mexican.”
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