Ski may take "shoers cross country |

Ski may take "shoers cross country

Allen Best/Special to the Daily

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – So why do so many people want to walk across snow in snowshoes when they could be skiing?

That has perplexed people at Steamboat’s Nordic Touring Center, as well as elsewhere. But in Steamboat they’re paying attention to a new ski, the Nordic Cruiser, from Fischer.

They’re following the shorter and wider theme of alpine, telemark and backcountry skis, which provide more control. The new ski, reports The Steamboat Pilot, is as much as 35 centimeters shorter than more traditional cross-country skis.

And technology employed in the waxless kick zone doesn’t sacrifice as much speed and gliding ability as old-school waxless skis.

Benzene levels not elevating in Banff

BANFF, Alberta – Measurements of the air in Banff last summer showed that benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, is within limits for human health as determined by the federal government. Still, a health inspector for the provincial government is urging the town to reduce benzene, reports the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Traffic exhaust is believed to be a major source of the chemical. One way to reduce that exhaust is to limit how much cars and trucks can idle. Already, the town has a law that limits idling by commercial vehicles in the municipal core, but the law is enforced only when somebody complains. The health inspector recommends a law against idling non-commercial vehicles.

Telluride earlier this year enacted a ban intended to reduce emissions from idling diesel delivery trucks.

Big-home owners may pay more taxes

CAMORE, Alberta – Owners of larger houses and vacant lots may be taxed at a higher rate under a proposal being considered by Canmore.

The changes would affect tourist homes, homes larger than 3,000 square feet above the basement level ans well as vacant, serviced residential lots that people are holding onto for speculation. Town officials say the income would be used to provide low-cost housing.

Tourist homes are already taxed at a commercial rate, notes the Rocky Mountain Outlook. Their inclusion in the proposed bylaw is a housekeeping amendment.

Sun Valley attacks light pollution

SUN VALLEY, Idaho – Add Sun Valley to the list of towns enacting laws intended to reduce light pollution. The law has been in the works for two years, but the Idaho Mountain Express indicates no likely opposition when the measure hits the City Council early next year.

Except in specifically described cases, the proposed law would mandate that all exterior lighting in the city will be “downcast and fully shielded.”