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Category Archives: Contributed

December 9, 2016 9:51 pm

Two People Injured in Snowmobile Accident Near Menahga

snowmobile-trailEmergency room visits number approximately 110 million every year, but winter brings people in from a variety of ice and snow-related accidents. One such accident involved two people and a snowmobile near Menahga, Minnesota.

Deputees arrived on the scene after the crash occurred. Carl Hendrickson, 28, was driving the snowmobile when it skidded sideways on a turn, which sent the vehicle rolling. Hendrickson was accompanied by 26-year-old Stephanie Velasio when the snowmobile crashed.

Neither Hendrickson nor Velasio were wearing helmets while on the vehicle and were found unconscious at the scene of the crash. After being brought to the hospital for treatment, Hendrickson was released while Velasio required more intensive care.

Hendrickson was arrested after being released from the hospital and was charged with Felony Criminal Vehicular Operation and Felony First Degree Driving While Impaired.

If anything, this should serve as a lesson to all those who may be snowmobiling this season. Insurance companies all across the nation are urging snowmobile owners and operators to learn the proper way to operate and ride a snowmobile. Allstate in particular offers some great tips to help snowmobile drivers stay safe this winter.

Above all else, the company stresses that snowmobile operators plan their routes. Planning where you’ll be driving and for how long is essential to a safe and fun experience. In addition, Allstate urges those snowmobile owners to notify someone at home of their route in the event that an accident occurs.

Another caution put forth by Allstate is in regard to the matter of crossing rivers or lakes. The company advises those riding snowmobiles never to venture out onto a lake or river, no matter how thick the ice may seem.

Last, but not least, storing the proper tools in the event of an emergency is paramount to snowmobile safety. Blankets, tools for snowmobile repair, and especially food and drink are important to bring with you during your rides.

Hendrickson and Velasio will recover from their injuries.

 
December 2, 2016 10:07 pm

Ski Resorts Struggle to House Employees as Rent Continues to Rise

ski-resortThe Steamboat Ski Resort in Colorado is pulling out all the stops to find housing for up to 50 if its seasonal employees. The resort announced last month that they will pay a $200 monthly incentive to landlords who agree to house employees for under $500 a month.

According to Steamboat Ski spokesperson Nicole Miller, a large number of the resort’s seasonal workers are currently on a waiting list for a room at the company’s housing complex.

Elsewhere in the city of Steamboat Springs, affordable housing is scarce. Every unit is almost always occupied, and when a one-bedroom does become available, it costs upwards of $1,050 per month. Unfortunately, the average monthly rent in this resort community is far beyond what the employees can afford.

Finding housing for employees has been a struggle for many other resort communities over the past few years as rent costs have continued to rise. According to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority executive director Jason Peasley, the city is 180 beds short of being able to house the seasonal workforce.

“It’s so much worse today than it’s ever been,” said Sara Flitner, the mayor of Jackson, Wyoming. In this beloved ski vacation destination, the medium price of a single-family home increased 24% to $1.2 million last year. In this and other ski towns across the West, the gap between the locals and the tourists is widening tremendously.

About 1.6 billion people worldwide are living without adequate housing, and Forbes has estimated that 1.5 million new housing units need to be built every year in order to accommodate the population growth.

To keep their resorts staffed and running smoothly, companies like the Steamboat Ski Resort have had to get creative and even make significant investments to help their employees find a place to live.

More than half (57%) of businesses and organizations view employee retention as an issue. Limited housing and high cost of living is certainly one-factor driving turnover among seasonal employees out in ski country.

 
November 14, 2016 2:19 pm

Chevy Builds Two Drag Racing COPO Camaros for 2017

Courtesy of The Drive

Courtesy of The Drive

Behind every product release, there is a lot of time and planning. Every day, there are 11 million meetings being held. Many happen in the engineering and pre-production stages. Others have to do with marketing and rollout.

For such a high-powered, intricate vehicle, it must have taken Chevrolet a long time and a lot of meetings to come up with its two limited production Camaros, designed specifically for drag racing.

Vintage Camaros ordered under GM’s Central Office Production Order system are extremely expensive. Starting in 1969, COPO was used by dealers to build high-performance vehicles that buyers couldn’t find anywhere else. They were often one-of-a-kind. Each year, Chevy releases 69 new cars, to commemorate the year that the COPO Camaro became an option.

This year, instead of just one model, Chevy released two.

The first is a drag race development Camaro. With 600 horsepower and a modified LT1 engine, it can travel a quarter mile in 10.685 seconds at 125.73 mph.

The development Camaro has a compilation of some of the best previous models on a stock Camaro, almost like what a DIYer would do if they had the resources.

It’s been upgraded with a GM Performance Cam and Head kit, performance exhaust, and high-flow induction. Tall racing slicks on 16-inch Bogart wheels give this model a proper launch grip, requiring prototyped brake discs. The car was displayed at the 2016 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

The second of the two cars, a 2017 collector COPO Camaro, is the first factory- designed racing Camaro. Also displayed at this year’s SEMA show, the COPO Camaro is equipped with a LSX Small Block-based 350 engine and a 2.9-liter twin-screw supercharger.

It has a 580 NHRA rating and a maximum recommended engine speed of 8,000 rpm. It has an ATI TH400-style three-speed automatic transmission, which is not much of a change from the 2016 model.

A concept finish called “Titanium Blue Me Away” appears on the show car, in satin paint. Smoked tail lamps, black bowties, and export market lights are other appearance revisions, but the car’s interior is stock.

The COPO Camaro is one of 69, as per tradition, and will be auctioned in January 2017 at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction, with the proceeds supporting the United Way.

For a chance to get your hands on one of the 68 remaining COPO Camaros, register at Chevrolet.com/COPO. The remaining cars will be distributed randomly among those who register.

 
November 2, 2016 5:38 pm

Controversy Surrounding the Use of Roadways in the Adirondack Mountains Puts Snowmobile Enthusiasts at Odds with Environmental Conservationists

snowmobile-trail

Home to Mount Marcy, New York’s highest peak at 5,344 feet, the Adirondack Mountains in the state’s northern region are beloved by locals and tourists alike. Cold, snowy winters make sports like skiing and snowmobiling extremely popular in the region, but the Adirondack Park Agency and local law enforcement have regulated use of snowmobiles in the area — or so they’ve said.

In 2012, the state committed to buy 20,758 acres of forest land within the Adirondack Park. Since the area is part of a wildlife conservatory, there is now a question of how much of the land will be available to motor vehicles, like cars and snowmobiles.

The Adirondack Park Agency has yet to decide the proper jurisdiction, but some area organizations have suggestions.

The Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages has suggested that an old logging road should remain open in order to access a series of three connecting ponds. The Boreas Ponds offer commanding views of the area mountaintops, giving kayakers and canoers the illusion that they are paddling atop a mountain peak.

The association want the ponds to remain accessible to the public by road, so that more people can drive up to enjoy the area’s groundbreaking beauty. The group also suggests allowing mountain bikes on the trails surrounding the ponds.

Without road access, people would have to hike eight miles from the nearest road in order to get to the ponds.

Another group, the Adirondack Wilderness Advocates, believes that the road to the ponds should be closed to all motorized access, including snowmobiles. The advocates say that this would preserve the area’s uniqueness.

According to the Adirondack Wilderness Advocates, allowing snowmobiles and other vehicles to access these roads increases the risk of introducing invasive species to the area. For example, Japanese knotweed has been found along the newest trail between the towns of Newcomb and Minerva. The plant grows in disturbed areas and along roadsides throughout the Adirondack Park.

While many residents and tourists have been grateful for the addition of a snowmobile trail, the Wilderness Advocates as well as other organizations within the area are distressed over the state of the park’s preservation.

“The political reality is we have a governor who wants to build a snowmobile trail,” said Peter Bauer, executive director of Protect the Adirondacks, referring to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s previously stated support for such a trail.

The Adirondack Park Agency will begin hearings on Nov. 9, 2016 before making a decision.

 

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