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Banff will stick to limit

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BANFF, Alberta - Parks Canada insists it will thwart any attempt to circumvent a cap on commercial development in Banff. Legislation adopted in 1998 asserted that 3.89 million square feet of commercial space then approved would be allowed, plus an extra 350,000. An element of uncertainty exists about whether the 1998 survey of commercial space was wrong, and hence a little more space might be added, according to the Rocky Mountain Outlook .

 

Aspen riders ready for races

ASPEN, Colo. - It's spring-time, more or less, in the high country of Colorado, and thoughts are starting to focus on the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, formerly called Quizno's Pro Challenge. A seven-stage race set for August, it is expected to draw some of the most sturdy and experienced bicycle riders in the world to Colorado mountain towns

Downtown Aspen will be the finish line for the fourth day of racing, and what a challenge it will be. The race will start at Gunnison and end at Aspen, both at 8,000 feet in elevation, but along the way riders must cross two 12,000-foot passes, with harrowing descents. Those routes dwarf the literal highpoint of the Tour de France, an 8,728-foot col in the Alps.

In Aspen, bicycle enthusiasts predict crowds double in size of those of the Fourth of July.

The Aspen Times points out that Aspen has long been infatuated with bicycles, perhaps second only to skiing as a local obsession. Even a century ago, after mining was already petering out, races in the region drew up to 1,000 spectators.

Then, in the 1970s, there were some local riders who took their avocation very seriously. "We were club riders, having a good time," says Michael Ernemann. "Every day we'd go out and ride 30 or 40 miles, then come back and drink vino, in the great European tradition," he told the newspaper's Scott Condon.

 

Mountainfilm comes to Telluride

TELLURIDE, Colo. - Mountainfilm in Telluride, a four-day festival over Memorial Day weekend, has always sought to have an edge to it, an engagement with the broader world somewhat belied by the title or the setting. This year, however, the edge was painful.

One of the guests that organizers had hoped to honour was Tim Hetherington, the director and producer of a film about U.S. soldiers in a remote valley in Afghanistan. The film, Restrepo , named after a soldier in the company killed in fighting, was screened at last year's session.

Hetherington himself was killed recently in Libya while trying to photograph fighting at Misurata. "That there is one less person out there striving to tell the truth about some of the most difficult stories of our time is a loss for all of us," said David Holbrooke, festival director, on the website.

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