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Mountain News: Banff to discuss a closed-door policy



BANFF, Alberta — Can a town government tell its merchants to close their front doors when it's cold outside? Banff may try to find out.

Merchants there, as well as elsewhere, have taken to leaving front doors open in recent decades as a way of inviting shoppers to enter the business. A few have taken to posting signs that say they close the doors to save energy, but the practice is far from universal.

Some people are annoyed, however. They say that a town located within a national park celebrated for its natural resources should not be trifling with natural resources by burning fossil fuels, just so people don't have to open the door of a business.

They also note that this practice hardly squares with the town's stated goal of being an environmental role model.

The Rocky Mountain Outlook reports that municipal councilors have instructed staff to lay the groundwork for a debate in September. Only one councilor, Stavros Karlos, opposed the further consideration of regulations. He said he hoped that energy costs would be enough to motivate people to close their doors.

Municipal staff said they have tried working with the Small Business Association of Banff to encourage people to close their doors, but without success.

Ski towns skittish about bag ban

MOUNTAIN VILLAGE, Colo. — Telluride did it. So did Aspen. Shouldn't Mountain Village ban plastic bags, too?

Connected with Telluride by a gondola, the slope-side municipality often acts in concert with its older sibling down in the box canyon. But in this case, council members report deep reservations.

"We're not all in agreement that what Telluride has done is the answer," said Bob Delves, the mayor of Mountain Village, after fielding a call for action similar to Telluride's.

But Dave Schillaci, a council member, also argued that if dampening greenhouse gas emissions is the goal, paper bags should be banned, because they require more energy to manufacture.

The irony, observes The Telluride Watch, is that a film called "Bag It," which was largely responsible for Telluride's action, was created at Mountain Village. The film broadly critiqued plastic bags because of their effect on waterways and landscapes, and also directly on people.

In Wyoming, a town councillor in Jackson has also decided to can his proposal to ban plastic bags. Greg Miles, who had proposed the prohibition in November, counted the votes and found himself on the short end. He said he would explore expanded outreach and an educational campaign or a five to 10 cent tax on bags.

"It's unfortunate that the council seems to be a bit fearful of the potential ramifications of a plastic bag ban in grocery stores," Miles told the Jackson Hole News&Guide.

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