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Freestyle skier turned away at border

Allen BestVail, CO Colorado

WHISTLER, B.C. Mohawk-headed Glen Plake was turned back at the Canadian border on his way to talk about skiing at Whistlers Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival. It seems that Plake, who was voted one of the 35 most influential skiers by Powder Magazine, was convicted of possessing of marijuana some years ago.Whistlers Pique newsmagazine says Canadian border officials are rejecting more American visitors because of new technology that allows them to better tap into files maintained by U.S. Homeland Security. The newspaper says this more finely-woven net has stopped enough would-be visitors to Whistler to capture the attention of the San Francisco Chronicle. Whistler Tourism, in turn, has contacted the Canadian federal government to see if the bar for visitors could be lowered.From our perspective, if it is something within the last five years and is something considered a serious offense, we completely understand that people should be stopped at the border, said Barrett Fisher, president of Tourism Whistler. Fisher called for some tolerance for an old offense such as drunken driving 25 years before.Michael Beaudry, who invited Plake to the festival, said he didnt think Plakes pot bust two decades ago would be an issue. After all, Plake totally changed his life after meeting and marrying his soulmate, Kimberly. The guy doesnt drink, doesnt smoke and hes in extraordinary physical shape, Beaudry wrote in Pique.He says Plake was detained at customs for five hours, his cell phone confiscated, then frog marched onto a plane and sent back to Reno.

DuBOIS, Wyo. – As she climbed Gannett Peak, Wyomings tallest mountain, during mid-April, Amy McCarthy dwelled on the connotation of the word glacial. It used to mean slow.But the speed with which glaciers on Gannett and elsewhere have been melting, that connotation of glacial is outdated. I was thinking it could be within my lifetime that that beautiful basin of glaciers doesnt exist, she told the Jackson Hole News&Guide.McCarthy and six others hiked the remote, 13,804-foot peak in the Wind River Range as part of author Bill McKibbens Step It Up effort to draw attention to climate change. At a rally in Jackson, also held as part of Step It Up, speakers talked about learning to carpool, using water filters instead of buying bottled water and other lifestyle changes.On Gannett Peak, climbing guide Forrest McCarthy talked about the changes he has already seen there. Fifteen years ago, enough snow remained into August to allow easy climbing in a key passage called Gooseneck Couloir. Now, the snow is gone by July, leaving treacherous, unstable rock. If current warming trends continue, says McCarthy, theyre forecasting these glaciers will disappear in 20 years.McCarthy, who is working on a masters thesis on landscape changes in Arctic Alaska, points out global warming predictions that hold that even a 25 percent reduction in carbon emissions will result in an increase in temperatures of two degrees by 2050. Even with two-degree warming, these will disappear, he said of the glaciers. The only hope is an 80 percent reduction.

REVELSTOKE, B.C. Revelstoke has a car-share cooperative, in which 10 people share one car. It costs $500 to join, and then the cost of using the car is $1.50 per hour and 20 cents per kilometer. That includes insurance, maintenance and gas. If the car is in use, and somebody else needs a car, the co-op allows a cab or car rental, whichever is cheapest. The program, explains the Revelstoke Times Review, is operated through an organization called Nelson Carshare. Whistler has a similar program. The theory of such coops seems to be that they force reduce costs and pollution, and discourage people from driving.


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