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Mountain News: Banff won't limit formulae stores



BANFF, Alberta — After hashing it out hard once again, the Banff municipal council appears highly unlikely to adopt limits on the number of chain stores and eateries.

The Rocky Mountain Outlook finds only one supporter on the council and three clear votes against.

"The quota system is basically dictating certain things, and I don't like the idea of dictating to our partners in the business community," said Grant Canning, a council member who owns a local mom-and-pop coffee shop — exactly the sort of business that the proposal aimed to protect. "I prefer the idea of working together to come up with a joint economic strategy."

Banff is home to Starbucks, Tim Hortons, McDonalds, Gap, Lululemon, Tony Roma's, Chili's and The Keg.

The lone supporter, Brian Standish, says he believes Banff needs to protect its competitive advantage over other tourism towns. "Banff has a successful commercial sector primarily because we have unique sense of place. What could happen to Banff if every business in town was a formula business? Banff would simply cease to be a special place," he said.

Couloir lives up to its name

JACKSON, Wyo. — The community of Jackson has lost another of its own to an avalanche this winter in Grand Teton National Park. The Jackson Hole News&Guide reports that Jarad Spackman, 40, was killed while ascending a chute called Apocalypse Couloir, which feeds into Death Canyon.

He was carried over 300 vertical metres down the couloir, and although a friend got to him almost immediately to begin administering CPR, it was to no avail. The deputy coroner for Teton County said that blunt force trauma to the man's back, neck and leg caused the death, and that death came swiftly.

A native of Jackson, he had graduated summa cum laude with a degree in international finance from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1995. He worked as a real estate broker in Sotheby's International Realty for 18 years alongside his brother and father. The family was ranked among the top in the nation for sales volume twice in recent years.

As for the terrain, it's extreme under any and all conditions — even when the avalanche hazard is low.

"We put out a general avalanche forecast, and it doesn't apply to terrain like that. Ever. The teeniest little slide could sweep you to your death," said Bob Comey, director of the local avalanche centre.

"It's been identified as a go-to place for extreme skiers, and you know what — it has consequences."

Bear calls reached new high in Aspen

ASPEN, Colo. — There's a direct correlation between drought and the activity log for police in Aspen.

The Aspen Times says police-call statistics describe a town that is both safe and small. But it has been getting busier with summons to assist with problem bears. In 2008, there were 82 such calls, and last year it grew to 1,040 calls.

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