Month: December 2020

Home / Month: December 2020

first_imgPuerto Rico Oversight Board’s Announcement Promoting Four Infrastructure Projects is ‘Fiscally Irresponsible’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bond Buyer: The Puerto Rico Oversight Board said it was focusing on four key energy projects for expedited permitting as the island looks to restore its economy and infrastructure.“Hurricanes Irma and Maria have demonstrated beyond any doubt Puerto Rico’s dire need to revamp and upgrade its electrical energy infrastructure,” said the board’s revitalization coordinator Noel Zamot. “We must do it quickly. That’s part of the reason why this first generation of projects to be advanced through PROMESA’s Title V Critical Projects Process all address energy issues.“We will be considering other types of infrastructure projects also, but right now the Oversight Board’s focus is on projects that can deliver energy solutions quickly,” Zamot said.Title V of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act allows a revitalization coordinator to use expedited permitting to advance major projects.The four projects would involve $1.47 billion in investment, nearly all from the private sector. The board estimates that the projects would create more than 8,200 direct and indirect jobs.The board is seeking comments on the projects by 5 p.m. on Feb. 6 on the web site, All comments will be made public.The four projects open to comment are:A wind energy project called Parque Eólico del Norte (North Wind Park) designed to generate 19.8 megawatts an hour, store energy in a battery system and transfer electricity to a nearby industrial sector. New Era Eolic LLC plans to build the wind park in Vega Baja with $36 million in private investment and $11.5 million in federal funds. The developers say the project would take 18 months. A solid waste energy production site from Energy Answers International. The Arecibo Resource Recovery Facility would create a net 70 MW/hour. This would be built over 42 months with $860 million of private investment. During construction 7,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs would be created. After construction there would be 750 direct, indirect, and induced full-time jobs.A project to reduce energy, water consumption, and other utility costs at the Government Unit Buildings at the Bayamón and Ponce Correctional Institutional Complexes. NORESCO would complete the project in 24 months. It estimates that $25 million in private funds and $262,000 in public funds would be involved.Steps to provide energy generation back-up and energy reserve goods and services to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. ARG Precision Corp., PW Power Systems, and Bostonia Partners propose to work together to allow for dual fuel capability at seven PREPA power generators. They expect that the project could be completed in 18 months with $538 million in private investmentThe choices came under fire from Tom Sanzillo, director of finance at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.He said the choices are inconsistent with Puerto Rico Energy Commission’s Integrated Resource Plan, which doesn’t include a garbage incinerator.Sanzillo said the key issue in deciding energy projects would be a grasp of projected demand and the board doesn’t have a demand study.The proposals were irresponsible as a regulatory action, he said. The board is supposed to support the island’s energy commission but, instead, the board supported these projects without consulting the commission.Sanzillo said the proposals were fiscally irresponsible. He said in nearly 30 years work in public sector work he never saw a garbage incinerator make budget.He said the solid waste plan was a “non-starter” environmentally.He said the corrections facility project might have some value.“Without proper vetting – and I do not mean a comment period – I mean discovery and cross examination – this looks like the board has bought a series of sales pitches from developers,” Sanzillo said. The projects aren’t “a way to change Puerto Rico for the better,” he said. “I am deeply troubled by the board’s actions.”More ($):Puerto Rico board picks four energy projects as infrastructure prioritieslast_img read more

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Analysts said they were not surprised by Westmoreland Coal Co.’s plan to sell one Ohio mine and pay a holding company to take several others because the operations have high reclamation costs and shrinking profitability.The coal producer, which sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2018, presented the bankruptcy court with a plan to sell its Buckingham mine to an as-yet-unformed holding company for $1 million and transfer another 15 mines in Ohio and Kentucky, which it calls the Oxford assets, to that entity along with a payment of between $16 million and $20 million. Westmoreland said all 16 mines are noncore assets.Industry analysts told S&P Global Market Intelligence that the low price tag on the Buckingham mine is likely a reflection of both the mine’s value and its reclamation costs. Westmoreland projects the mine’s gross reclamation cost outflows through 2065 to total $6 million, according to a Form 8-K filed Dec. 19, 2018. All of the operation’s coal is shipped to the Conesville power plant, whose contract with Westmoreland expired at the end of 2018 and was not renewed.B. Riley FBR analyst Lucas Pipes said the $6 million reclamation cost is a “modest amount,” but the new owner may have to deal with the liability sooner rather than later if it can no longer service a power plant. He also noted that the Ohio River Valley is “very competitive” and the buyer may have difficulty competing with Murray Energy Corp. and Alliance Resource Partners LP for deliveries to other generators. Pipes said the holding company may think it can reclaim the mines for a lower price than Westmoreland is estimating and make money from the deal.Westmoreland told the court it had attempted to market the Buckingham mine to 37 potential buyers. More ($): Experts: Reclamation liabilities, low value lessened price of Westmoreland mine Reclamation costs a key factor in Westmoreland’s restructuring efforts, experts saylast_img read more

The ‘Dusters Head Out Yonder

December 30, 2020 | kzmwuuff | No Comments

first_img‘Duster bassist Travis Book and his mates continue to build one of the hottest musical franchises in the country.New hometown, new record label, the hottest new festival in the Southeast, sold out shows in great rooms around the country.  Things are really looking good for the Stringdusters.  BRO recently caught up with bass player – and new Virginia resident – Travis Book to chat about all that is new and exciting with the ‘Dusters.BRO – For all intents and purposes, the Stringdusters are now calling Charlottesville home.  How are things shaping up in the band’s new homebase?TB – Andy Falco and Chris Pandolfi have been out here for a few more months than me.  They have really loved it here.  Charlottesville has a great music scene and it was especially vibrant ten or fifteen years ago.  There’s a lot of great things going on recently, and it seems like there is a resurgence around acoustic, folk, and roots music.  It’s hard to say where the Stringdusters fit, but the community seems really excited about what we are doing.  We do our festival here and we did a sold out New Years Even show at the Jefferson Theater, so it feels like a really natural fit.BRO – You are now living on the grounds of one of the finest breweries in Central Virginia and within minutes of some really sweet single track.  How are you getting anything done?TB – I’m not.  It ‘s kind of overwhelming living again in a place where it is really nice to get outside.  I grew up being able to get to the woods really easily.  I’m trying to balance it.  I get up early, try to get some stuff done, and then I get outside.  It’s amazing here in the Blue Ridge.  Growing up in the Rockies, I never realized how good it is out here.  But I don’t actually get done as much as I actually should.BRO – You just wrapped your annual ski tour and there were no broken bones.  You take it easy this year?TB – No broken bones.  That’s the best news.   A friend of ours from Montana named Ed, who works a ranch out there and is just starting a family, taught us about this thing called “old man style” – just cruising and loving life.  And we realized that if you start out with the old man style mentality you can really ski ridiculously hard and aggressively and have an amazing time and still keep in mind that you need to live and ski another day.  BRO – The band recently went through its second major line up shift with Jesse Cobb’s departure.  How has the band embraced its new status as a quintet?TB – Initially, we were concerned that it was going to leave a really large gap.  Jesse is a phenomenal and assertive player.  Dominick Leslie came and played a week of shows with us, but then he had a week of obligations elsewhere, so it just made sense for us to try and see how it worked with just the five of us.  Five guys is still a lot; more than a lot of bands have.  We started doing shows and didn’t even really have a lot of time to rehearse.  But we knew that the best bluegrass jams often take place with just three or four people.  The more people you have in there, the more difficult it is to be heard and influenced by the other players or to hear and influence them.  One of our first shows as a quintet was at Lake Eden Arts Festival outside of Asheville, and we were really surprised to find, with only having to communicate with four other people, all the new directions that our music could go.   And once we felt how good it was to share the music with just the five of us, considering all of our shared time and the miles we have traveled together, it didn’t make sense for us to get another mandolin player.  We are really happy and are enjoying the music with just the five of us and building on what we have been doing all these years.BRO – The band is about to hit the road again with Yonder on their Cabin Fever Tour.  You get to leave a few days early.  What’s going on?TB – Ben Kaufmann, Yonder’s bass player, recently had a baby that came a little bit later than anticipated.  In order to relieve a little pressure on his family, the Yonder guys asked me if I would come out  for the first few shows with them in his place.  It’s really exciting for me.  Yonder was one of the first bands I fell in love with.  They were one of the first bands I would drive eight hours to see or go see for four or five straight shows.  I’m finding more now, as we spend more time with them, that they really informed a lot of my musical taste.  Needless to say, I am really psyched to get to play with them.  And the band is thrilled to get the opportunity to open for them.  We had a great run with Yonder in the fall, so this is going to be a great month for us, and it’s a trip that I get to kick it off by doing my best to fill Ben’s massive shoes.  But I have stood out there in that crowd before, sweating and dancing as much as any other bass player, so I like to think that I am the perfect man for the job.Travis and the rest of the ‘Dusters kick off a slew of dates with the Yonder boys on the Cabin Fever Tour in Nashville on Wednesday, February 10th.  They’ll be making stops in Atlanta, Birmingham, Charleston (SC), Asheville, Knoxville, Lexington (KY), Columbus (OH), Covington (KY),  and Madison (WI) before hitting the road in March on their own Silver Sky Tour.  Grab tickets while you can – shows are selling out quickly – and be on the lookout for the March release of Silver Sky, the band’s first studio record on their own High Country Recordings.last_img read more

They Put Me on the Prayer List

December 30, 2020 | pelzfibj | No Comments

first_imgPrintAs a teacher, the repeated question weeks before spring break is, “Where are you going to spend your vacation?” Nervous but proud I responded, “I’m going hiking for a week on the Appalachian Trail.” This statement elicited a number of responses from, “Why are you doing that?” to “You aren’t really going out there alone, are you?” Many felt impassioned to begin a public safety lecture about how I should have someone or at least a weapon with me. I had been reading idiot guides, gear guides, and how-to books since Christmas, eager to learn all that I could. I had collected lightweight gear and practiced with it for weeks. As I left work Friday evening, eager to get home and begin packing, my boss turned to me and said, “I put you on the prayer list at my church. You be safe out there.” With this additional insurance policy, I smiled and headed home.Did You Bring Any Condoms?My friend Ron picked me up Monday morning. He looked over my gear and, being a lightweight guru, asked how much my pack weighed. I proudly stated, “24 pounds.” He looked displeased with this number, and after a few changes to my gear, drove me to the trailhead near the Cove Mountain Shelter. Along the way, we saw eight hikers, including two tall men, tan and gorgeous despite their obvious rugged beards and coatings of dirt. Ron asked if I had brought along any condoms.At the trailhead, he advised me to “get a running start.” And so I did. I don’t remember much of my first five miles alone other than wanting to shake a hiker named Just Mike whose dog Hicks kept trying to hump my leg. I hoped I could catch the two hot guys whom I learned from shelter journals called themselves The Southern Miss. Boys.I reached an area that just screamed “bear habitat” and became very alert. I stopped at a small stream to wet my face and neck to offset the heat. I soon reached a beautiful two-story shelter where the log stated that the Southern Miss. Boys had just seen a bear and her cub cross the path. “No interaction and no picture” the entry stated. A few minutes later, Just Mike and Hicks came into the shelter for the night. I enjoyed the company, but he had been out hiking for only one day and was already asking me to drive him north to his car and telling me how he needed a hot shower.Insights from LoraxAfter literally jogging out of camp the next morning, I had a new set of goals: stay well ahead of Just Mike and attempt to catch The Southern Miss. Boys. No luck. The next two days were cold and rainy, even snowing on me twice on high summits. I spent the next two nights freezing privately in my tent in make-shift campsites between shelters. I was too fast to stop at one but not moving fast enough to catch the next before nightfall. I jogged to keep warm and kept summit overlooks to an “Okay, I’ve seen it, now keep moving” technique. On my final day on the trail, I heard bounding steps coming up behind me. I turned and met Lorax, a thru-hiker. He quickly asked if I was Blacksheep and that Mike had sent an “I’m only fifteen minutes behind” message. What?! I hadn’t seen him for two days and he was still hoping I’ll drive him into town? I felt guilty leaving Just Mike, but we each need to have our own A.T. experience; he needed to have his. I gave Lorax every bit of food I had left in my bag and twenty dollars. I was grateful to have been a trail angel for a thru-hiker.Sounds of NatureAfter reaching my car at the James River Bridge, I just sat there, not wanting to leave the trail, but also not wanting to see Just Mike. Fortunately, I knew he would be able to catch a ride with one of the almost 50 women picking weeds near the James River Bridge.I drove home to Roanoke and stayed out front of my house and found a home for the rock I removed from the trail as a token. On the trail I set camp at dark. At home I noticed myself very tired around eight. It dawned on me how I missed the owls, coyotes, and woodpeckers that seemed to follow me for three nights. So I changed my sound machine to the rainforest setting to drown out the sounds of the city.last_img read more

first_imgA few years ago, Charley was the one to really sit with me at Gorilla (of the Green River Narrows) and meticulously pick apart and explain the line through that beast. I felt so inspired that I ended up running Gorilla for my first time that day! (Thanks again, Charley!) And here he was, the first time I’ve seen him since, excited to show me down Raven Fork for my first time.I was beyond happy to have him there. I had met Paul during our hike out from our previous attempt but did not yet know Clay or Andy. The whole crew was more than patient with Sean and I as we hopped out of our boats to scout pretty much everything. They were extremely encouraging, and because they were willing to take the time to pick apart the rapids and explain the lines, Sean and I were able to complete our personal first descents of the Raven Fork.What a day! The rapids lived up to every little bit of their reputation. There were fast slides, tight slots, boofs, intricate maneuvers, combinations of all of the above stringed one after another and pretty much anything you could really ask for from a one mile stretch of river. We had perfect sunshine and one of the first warm days of the year. The stars aligned for an absolutely perfect day. We spent the rest of our break resting, recovering and getting skunked on the Narrows – not quite the full action packed week we had imagined, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! It’s Friday afternoon, but not just any Friday afternoon… It’s the start of my last ever Spring Break. While most of my peers have plans to swarm the beaches of Panama City, Florida, my friends and I have a very different intent. We are going to venture north into the mountains in anticipation of a full week of action packed, world-class whitewater kayaking.Our first destination – the infamous Raven Fork, known among Southeastern paddlers as one of the highest quality creeks around. This river packs 15 Class 5.0 rapids—as well as a handful of refreshing Class IV’s—into its one-mile plunge down a steep valley in the Great Smokey Mountains.I’ve had my eye on this gem for about a year now, but for some reason or another never caught the right rain at the right time with the right mental preparation. But that was all about to change. This was my chance. Sean, John, and I loaded up boats Friday night in anticipation of getting an early start Saturday morning and meeting Burton in Cherokee. Our goal was to make the most of the daylight and leave plenty of time for scouting the many steep bedrock slides of the Raven Fork.On the drive up there is nothing but mist and light rain, just enough to taunt paddlers hoping for levels to bump. When we arrived in Cherokee we got a visual of 15 inches on the bridge gauge.“That’s higher than I was hoping for, but I think I can make that work. It’s still doable,” I say to myself as the other members of the group voice the same concern almost verbatim. The immediate area had not gotten much rain, so none of us were expecting the level to rise much more.When we get to Manny’s place, the unofficial take out, we happen upon a small group of enthusiastic paddlers. It’s an intimidating bunch with a majority of the faces belonging to the renowned, top-notch paddlers of the southeast. My group and I get geared up and head up the mountain as quickly as we can. I’m hoping my Jeep Cherokee can make it up the notoriously rough put-in trail, but we have no such luck. Still full of excitement and anticipation we show no regret towards the idea of having to shoulder our boats from here.“How long can the trail stay this steep?” I think to myself as we ascend towards the put-in, trying not to psych myself out thinking about all the gradient we are ascending.After all, what goes up must come down, right? After an uncomfortable eternity of hiking through the world’s sloppiest, muckiest, and slipperiest mud, we can see a few trucks ahead.“Made it!”, I thought, but I was wrong…very wrong. About this time we hear a large truck powering it’s way through the slop as it comes up behind us.Paul Butler parks among the other trucks as we arrive to the ‘parking lot’ on foot. Wouldn’t it have been nice to score a ride on that thing!Photo Courtesy of Clay LucasWe meet many of the faces we saw at Manny’s at the parking lot. They were fortunate enough to catch a ride to the top, and thus still have enough breath for laughing and joking. My group and I seize the opportunity for a much needed breather.Eventually, the group begins to move again up, down, and across what I assumed would be a very short final approach to the water. I should have known that would not be the case, as there was no water in sight, save for a tiny mountain spring trickling across the footpath.We spend the next mile and a half or so ducking under a seemingly endless number of fallen trees on a narrow footpath, often having to improvise a new path where the existing path disappears under deadfall.Along the way I spent a couple moments catching my breath and taking in the scenery. To our right was a steep ascent to the very crest of the ridge, and to our left was a steep, narrow gorge blanketed in fog. Sounds of cascading water rise from below, but the fog cover hides the origin; I am forced to use my imagination to picture the rapids below.Soon my imagination is interrupted. We’ve reached what Burton refers to as the “Hillary Step,” comparing our hike to the final stretch climbers must conquer before summiting Everest. Here we scramble over a patch of rocks obstructing our path, squeezing between bushes and pulling aside branches to maintain some visual of what lies ahead.After immerging, the path more or less disappears, and it’s every man for himself for the final 100 yard descent over a mess of moss covered boulders before reaching the water.When we reach the water we take a minute to collect ourselves. We all agree we are going to portage the Class 5.2 “Anaconda” and seal launch into the water below. We regroup in the river’s left eddy above Headless Horseman, a Class 5.1, and line up single file to take a stab at it.albo 2Photo Courtesy of Chip AlboWe agreed that we had all seen enough photos and videos of the iconic rapid to know the line, so we elected to run it blind. Burton went first, then it was my turn. I line up for the standard line, moving towards the right wall, and just before going over the plunge I notice how much bigger the hole below is compared to any video I had seen before.I end up getting flipped over my stern and ride the remainder of the sluice on my head – there was plenty of flow to pad it out. At the bottom I roll up and take my spot in the eddy and watch John and Sean follow.John had just about as much luck as I did, but Sean has a clean line. In the eddy we commented on how much water there was pumping through the river bed and elected to get out to scout the next set of drops: a small Class IV+ with some poorly placed wood, Right Right (Class 5.0), and Razor Back (Class 5.1).As we are hopping out of our boats we get word from Raven Fork regulars that the level has risen to something more similar to 20 inches.“That’s a lot more water than I bargained for!” I thought to myself, but decided to put eyes on the next set anyway.We were able to scout Right Right but couldn’t find any real way to put eyes on Razor Back without first having to run Right Right.It looked doable; however, Sean, John and I made the call to get out while we could. We were confident that we could run what we were able to see right now, but the further we went down the river the further we got from the trail and the bigger the rapids got. It’s difficult to shake what I assume to be the paddler’s equivalent of “Summit Fever.”We were so close to achieving something we had dreamed about for a year. We were right there! I kept reminding myself that the rapids would only get bigger and the trail only further, and made the decision to hike out. Abandoning the closest I’ve ever come to reaching my dream of experiencing the Raven Fork.We returned to Atlanta that night and took a full day for rest and recovery from our hiking excursion. I was slightly disappointed with having to walk off, but at the same time, I was highly energized and excited about having seen the rapids and knowing they were within my reach when the time came.Sure enough, later that day we saw a gauge visual posted on Facebook. The water level had begun to subside after reaching a reported 24 inches and would be prime for a second attempt on Monday.Sunday night Sean and I loaded up the car again and headed north. We camped out near the Chattooga and made it to Cherokee as early as we could on Monday morning.This time Burton was not going to be with us to show us down, but we lucked out. We got to Manny’s and by a stroke of luck joined a crew consisting of Charley Bartlett, Paul Butler, Clay Lucas, and Andy Hobson. They agreed to show us down for our first time, and Paul’s truck made getting to the put-in a heck of a lot easier.Photo Courtesy of Chip AlboPhoto Courtesy of Chip Albolast_img read more

48 Hours in Boone, North Carolina

December 30, 2020 | aazfmwrl | No Comments

first_imgScreen Shot 2016-02-16 at 9.28.34 PMPhoto Courtesy of Rocky KnobRocky Knob Bike ParkThis 185-acre bike park is located right in Boone’s backyard. It contains about eight miles of mountain bike trails for all skill levels along with 4 skills parks and a pump track. The park was created in 2009 with grants secured by the Bikes Belong Foundation and Specialized Bicycles. For more info check them out online.Hit the Slopes for DownhillWhen the local slopes dry up in the summer they become a mecca for downhill mountain bikers. Beech and Sugar Mountain Resorts are both popular destinations for downhill MTB enthusiasts. In fact, Beech recently hosted the downhill mountain biking national championships.FoodThe LocalA vast and varied selection of local craft beers, nightly live music performances, and locally sourced ingredients make this gastropub a favorite of Boone residents and visitors alike. The vision of a local family with deep ties to the community, The Local offers patrons traditional southern fare and 20 rotating taps. Its the perfect place to get your craft beer fix after a long, adventurous day in Boone’s backyard.ProperThe Proper is Boone’s best tribute to southern table fare and the southern way of life. If you’re looking for a brunch spot, this is your place. Expect to encounter such traditional brunch staples as house made buttermilk biscuits, gravy bacon cheddar home fries, quiche of the day, pulled pork and grits and fried chicken and waffles. But don’t take my word for it. Their Instagram account will have you salivating in no time.downloadPhoto Courtesy of The LocalLost Province Brewing Co.Lost Province is billed as a brewery, and with a dozen or so in-house beers on draft, it’s a great one, but there’s much more to it than that. The wood fired food offerings are up there with some of Boone’s very best. If pizza is what you seek Lost Province has you covered. With a full menu that includes classics like the Margherita and Hawaiian as well as more innovative creations like the Sweet Beet, which incorporates fresh mozzarella, gorgonzola, fire roasted sweet potatoes, beets, walnuts, rosemary and jalapeño honey, this is one of the most hopping pizza destinations in town.10608450_1573801919498184_2524181970125520838_oPhoto Courtesy of Lost ProvinceThe Coyote KitchenLocated in the heart of downtown Boone, the Coyote Kitchen specializes in Southwest Caribbean soul food. Some of the more popular dishes include pork belly tacos, the chipotle chicken sandwich and a burrito called the Marley, loaded with jerk chicken, butter beans, roasted sweet potato, sour cream, fried plantains, and grilled pineapple.10448652_10152733232578891_1286845224900751545_oPhoto Courtesy of Coyote KitchenThe Best of the RestAppalachian Mountain Brewing’s Farm to Flame Food TruckHob Nob Farm CafeJoy BistroStick Boy Bread CoLibations and NightlifeAppalachian Mountain BrewingScreen-Shot-2015-06-17-at-5.38.53-AMPhoto Courtesy of Appalachian Mountain BrewingYou may remember these guys for their Long Leaf IPA, the beer with the most votes in the Best Sixer Ever contest we held back in the spring. Sean Spiegelman and Danny Wilcox—two of the passionate people behind AMB’s success—have been garnering brewing accolades and community support since they opened their doors in 2011, and for good reason. The beer is top notch and the taproom is a destination worthy of working into your Boone plans. Don’t leave Boone without dropping in on AMB. Boone SaloonWhen Boone locals are seeking a late night watering hole with regular live music on the docket and sports on the flatscreens, they head for the Boone Saloon. In addition to local live music, late night stiff drinks, and local camaraderie, the Boone Saloon offers a full menu loaded with stellar pub fare like wings, a classic BLT, and the “Eggsceptional Burger”—fried egg, bacon, and horseradish on a toasted bun. If you happen to catch the Boone Saloon earlier in the day ask about the “Dunch Menu” which includes such items as the five dollar biscuits and gravy, french toast and huevos rancheros.The Best of the RestGrandfather Vineyard WineryCafe PortofinoVidalia Restaurant and Wine Bar[divider]REad More from[/divider] Situated in a part of Western North Carolina commonly referred to as the High Country, Boone is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Whether you’re a paddler, climber, thru-hiker, trail runner, fly fisherman or dedicated snowsports enthusiast, you’ll feel right at home in this southern mountain town. Use this guide to 48 Hours in Boone next time you head for the High Country. It’s a great blueprint for adventure and features some of the best craft beer and local food that Boone has to offer.Day OneSki, Snowboard, TubeIn Boone, snowsports are part of the culture, and with an average annual snowfall rate around 34 inches and a handful of great ski areas to choose from, it’s easy to see why. Take a drive down Boone’s bustling King Street on any given winter day and you’ll see this culture manifested in roof racks towing skis and snowboards and local outfitters offering a plethora of winter sports gear. If you’re planning a winter trip to Boone, do yourself a favor and make arrangements to hit one or more of these great High Country ski resorts and tubing parks.Beech Mountain ResortEstablished in 1969, Beech Mountain Ski Resort is a destination in its own right. The resort lies within the limits of the town of Beech Mountain which, at an elevation of 5,506 feet, holds the distinguished title of ‘Eastern America’s Highest Elevation Town.’ A quick but winding 45 minute drive from Boone will put you in the midst of some Western North Carolina best skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing.In addition to some of the Southeast’s best slopes, Beech is home to a microbrewery—Beech Mountain Brewing Co. and the 5506′ Skybar, situated at the resort’s highest point and offering stunning views of the surrounding High Country. There are also multiple options for slope side lodging. For more info check out their website and their 24 hour webcams.Beech 5235 (72res)Photo Courtesy of Beech Mountain Ski ResortAppalachian Ski MountainAnother great skiing and snowboarding option near Boone is Appalachian Ski Mountain. With three green slopes, three blues, three blacks and multiple freestyle terrain parks to choose from, Appalachian Ski Mountain can keep visitors entertained for an entire day or more.Sugar MountainAlso perched at an elevation near 5,000 feet, Sugar Mountain Resort boasts more than twenty slopes and eight lifts. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Sugar offers snowshoeing, tubing, ice skating, and several shopping and dining options.Beech-terrain-parkPhoto Courtesy of Beech Mountain Ski ResortHawk’s NestStill new to the skiing and snowboarding game and not quite ready to commit? Then Hawk’s Nest Tubing Park is your place. Touted as the largest snow tubing park in the Eastern United States, Hawk’s Nest can accommodate tons of visitors with its thirty-plus snow tubing lanes. Another benefit to tubing at Hawk’s Nest is that it won’t break the bank. Passes start as low as $27.boone2Photo Courtesy of Beech Mountain Ski ResortDay TwoFly FishingThe Boone area does not want for stellar fishing holes. In fact, it is widely considered to be one of the premier fly fishing destinations in the Southeast. Whether you’re heading out in search of wily wild trout or hoping to hook up with trophy stockies on bigger waters, you’ll find your fly fishing fix in the Western North Carolina High Country.“One of the greatest things about this area is you’ve got fiver major rivers and all the feeder creeks and streams that feed these rivers,” says local fly fishing enthusiast Scott Farfone. “The fishing possibilities are endless.”DSC03104-2Photo by Steve Yocom PhotographyBoone Fly Fishing DestinationsValle Crucis, Watauga RiverThe width of the Watauga and the openness of its banks as it flows through Valle Crucis separate this river from its Southern Appalachian counterparts. More reminiscent of the type of rivers found out west than those typically located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the conditions found on this stretch of water are considered a welcome respite for the rhododendron weary fly fishers among us. In Valle Crucis you’ll find ample public fishing access leading to rainbows, browns and the occasional brookie. From the months of October 1 to June 5 this portion of the Watauga becomes a designated Delayed Harvest stream, which means all netted trout must be released to fight another day. Wilson CreekCommonly listed alongside North Carolina’s top ranked trout streams, Wilson Creek is just one of the several great fisheries located in the Catawba Drainage. But if you’re looking for something in the in the Western North Carolina High Country that is easily accessible via the Blue Ridge Parkway it is among the absolute best. One of the few rivers on our list afforded a Wild and Scenic designation, Wilson Creek harbors brown and rainbow trout in a variety of pools, runs and riffles and has been compared to the the streams of Northern California’s Sierra Nevada. While you’re in the area don’t miss out on the chance to fish Harper Creek, Gragg Prong, and Lost Cove Creek, all tributaries of Wilson. If you’re new to the area and in need of some advice, let one of these trusted local outfitters help you along the way.Foscoe Fishing Company and OutfittersElk Creek OutfittersTrophy Water Guide ServiceDue South OutfittersAppalachian Angler Fly ShopMountain Biking Mountain bikers around the country tout the trails of Southern Appalachia as some of the country’s absolute best, and the Boone area is no exception to that reputation. If your adventures tend to start on two wheels Boone, NC is the place for you.“What the Boone area has to offer mountain bikers is miles and miles of endless forest to get lost in,” says professional mountain biker and area cycling guide Darrell Prillaman.“We’ve got everything that people think of when they think of Western North Carolina mountain biking, rhododendron tunnels, rocky ridge lines, gorgeous creek crossings, and trails that end in swimming holes.”last_img read more

first_imgFrom February 22 to December 29 of 2016, 23-year-old Crozet, Va., native and recent Princeton University graduate Adam Geilker did something rather astounding: Setting out from the peak of Hightop Mountain in the Shenandoah National Park at high noon, he headed northward on the Appalachian Trail, hiking first to its terminus at Katahdin in Maine, then to the southern terminus at Springer Mountain in Georgia, whereupon he turned around and hoofed it right on back to Hightop. All told, the walk totaled over 4,400 miles—over 1,000 of which were completed barefoot.“I carried my own pack every step of the way and never slack-packed,” says Geilker. “I didn’t mail myself food or care packages, but hiked or hitched into town for resupply. And I didn’t use paid shuttles—although that was based more on frugality than any kind of purist principles.”His gear was also simple and self-reliant. It included a homemade wooden backpack; 10-inch bowie knife constructed from an iron railway spike and deer antler; self-welded hiking poles, trowel, and frying pan; knee-high pair of muck boots followed by shoeless-ness then 3D-printed sandals; military surplus body-bag as bivy sack; and a self-sewn tunic. Taken collectively, the setup weighed around 70 pounds. His do-it-yourself approach earned Geilker his trail name: “Handmade.”“I made the backpack prior to freshman fall orientation at Princeton,” says Geilker. “The college does this big, kind of iconic hiking trip every year. I didn’t want to be the guy carrying his dad’s old hand-me-down pack from the 70s, so I decided to make my own.”Geilker was pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering, and he “worked maniacally for something like 80 hours” to construct a custom external-framed backpack. First, he harvested with an axe a 6-inch diameter white oak for the frame, which he subsequently split, ran through a planer, and shaped with a jigsaw, drawknife, carving knife, and rasp into two uprights. Using the remaining chunks from the log, he fashioned cross-braces which, like an antique chair, were connected to the frame by means of mortise and tenon joints. For the pack, he used an old denim jacket reinforced with leather. Straps were made of recycled U.S. Army webbing, with buckles gleaned from old laptop bags and throwaway backpacks. While the unit weighed 10 pounds empty, aesthetically it looked more like an artifact from a Kerouac novel than a garage project pulled off on the cheap.However, Geilker’s intentions for the pack wound up unfulfilled. “The weekend of the camping trip it rained and they canceled the event,” he said. “But when I graduated and decided to hike the A.T., carrying the pack seemed appropriate—like a full-circle gesture connecting everything together.”He saw his A.T. hike as a one-time post-college rite of passage. “There’s this saying on the trail that goes, ‘Hike your own hike,’” he said. “When I was setting out to do this, I really took that seriously. I wasn’t—and still am not—planning on doing another thru-hike like this one, so, if I was going to do it this one time, I wanted to approach it in a way that was uniquely my own.”As you can imagine, in a realm dominated by hikers equipped with the latest most ultra-lightweight technologically advanced gear available, Geilker drew quite a bit of attention.“I met him on a stretch of trail outside of Hanover in New Hampshire,” said Sean Cardle, who was working on completing his own NOBO thru-hike at the time. “He had dirty blond hair, blue eyes, a wispy beard and was wearing this strange one-piece tunic that looked a bit like Peter Pan’s outfit, only brown.” Additionally, Geilker had on flip-flops and was carrying a full-sized axe. He looked pretty eccentric.”Geilker was using the axe to clear a section of trail littered with blowdowns. “He was cutting through thigh- and torso-sized trees by hand with an axe,” Cardle recalled.“I counted between 175 and 200 blowdowns over the course of a 75-mile segment of trail, which took about eight 16-hour days to cut through by hand,” Geilker explained. “I couldn’t stand to see a trail looking like that, so I did something about it.”Geilker tends to maintain a kind of no-nonsense pragmatism about his double thru-hike, describing the trip as more akin to a lengthy vacation than any sort of find-thyself self-discovery mission. “I set out from Crozet and hiked to the trail because, as an environmentalist, I couldn’t bear the thought of hitching a bus, plane, or train ride 1,300 miles to either end of the trail.”And yet, considering a trek that had him hiking through two winters and thousands of miles of mountains, Geilker doesn’t shy away from pointing out the philosophical virtues of spending that much time on the trail. “Our post-industrial society is somewhat alienating to the individual for two reasons. First, if you were to suddenly disappear, in many respects you’d just be replaced, which makes it feel like society doesn’t need you. Second, the basic necessities of life are so readily accessible that obtaining them sometimes fails to afford satisfaction. In other words, society can alienate you by giving the impression that it doesn’t need you and that you don’t even need yourself,” he mused. “But on the trail, I need food, water, and shelter—and other people—far more immediately than I do in typical day-to-day suburban existence. Not only do I appreciate these basic necessities far more on the trail, but I can appreciate my own agency in getting them. Fundamentally, I need me far more on the trail—my judgment and my physical ability constantly and directly translate into fulfillment of my needs, and are measured by my daily successes or shortcomings as a hiker. This sense of needing yourself and having greater agency is healthy, deeply satisfying, and serves as a kind of antidote to our day-to-day suburban existence.”Ultimately, while he confided the trek sometimes felt like a major indulgence, Geilker says he’s happy with what he accomplished and is confident that the experience will inform his life in a myriad of positive ways. “I’m not just a hiker,” he said. “I’ll take the tremendous personal capability I’ve shown on the trail and apply it to bigger, more significant situations throughout the rest of my life.”OESH SANDALSThree-thousand of Adam Geilker’s 4,400 A.T. miles were walked in two pairs of newly designed, 3-D printed OESH sandals he glowingly described as “the best shoes I’ve ever owned.” Geilker wore a pair of Athena Bubblegums—which are pink—for 1,000 miles and then a pair of black Artemis Obsidians for 2,000 miles.Developed through grant funding provided by the National Science Foundation, the sandals are the product of Dr. Casey Kerrigan’s obsession with human movement. A Harvard Medical School grad, Kerrigan published many scholarly papers based upon her research. “Eventually, I got fed up with the shoe industry continuing to make unhealthy shoes and decided we should make our own.”In 2010, Kerrigan left her job at the University of Virginia, where she’d become the first woman tenured professor to serve as the chair of the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation. The name OESH was a pun suggested by a friend whom, upon considering Kerrigan’s research and what it would mean for women’s footwear, said the M.D. was going to turn around and twist the s-h-o-e industry inside out. This spring will be the first time the company markets its new line of 3D printed sandals.“We make the sandals on demand, and we’re piloting for local customers who can come into the factory for assessment,” said Kerrigan. “We’ll take your measurements and assess your biomechanics, and design sandals specific for your body.”last_img read more

Biking Through Windows and Puffy Jacket Beer

December 30, 2020 | zelepmlo | No Comments

first_imgDon’t look at the Breckenwolf webcam. It’s too sad. The camera is pointed at the base of the lift. The quad chair is motionless, the main slope bare, except for a skinny sliver of patchy, dirty snow. It’s like our own localized version of the melting ice caps, and the image makes it painfully obvious that ski season is over for those of us that frequent the wild slopes of Breckenwolf. Based on the long-range forecast, it won’t be long before other ski areas in the South quiet their lifts too. The resorts have done their best, but you just can’t make snow when it’s 60 degrees for two weeks straight. Overall, for the Whiskey Wednesday crew, it was a ski season plagued by sickness, injury and shitty conditions. I’m calling it the worst ski season in a decade.But listen, I’m not here to bitch and moan about how crappy the skiing has been down here this winter. Sure, it’s been 60 degrees for two weeks straight, but on the other hand it’s been 60 degrees for two weeks straight. I’m not one to lean into religious platitudes, but as everyone’s favorite aunt is fond of saying, “when God closes a door, he opens a window.” And for me, that window has two wheels. So, I’ve been riding the shit out of my bike. Road bike, mountain bike, gravel grinder…singletrack, pump track, mountain climbs…it’s almost 70 degrees out there and sunny. In February. Ski season might have been cut short, but bike season has been given a jump start. I’m making the most of it.And I’m drinking a new beer after each bike ride: Patagonia Provisions Long Root Ale. Yes, the maker of your favorite puffy jacket is producing a beer now. Patagonia actually has an entire division that’s focusing on sustainable foods, called Patagonia Provisions. They produce a mean buffalo jerky, and they’ve partnered with Portland’s Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) to brew Long Root. And this beer isn’t just some vanity project; This pale ale is the first beer ever to be made with Kernza, a grain that’s grown to regenerate the soil’s biodiversity and sequesters carbon. It’s a relatively new grain developed by The Land Institute, a non-profit that aims to introduce ecological stability to farming practices. Think of it as a perennial wheat substitute that requires no tilling and very little water.Cool, right? So, Patagonia decided to put it in a beer, because even though Kernza is a wonder crop that could help save the world a little bit at a time, there isn’t a huge market for it. But that could change, as Kernza adds a layer of complexity to this beer’s malt bill. The beer itself is tasty, hitting all of the requisite grapefruit notes you expect from a West Coast pale ale. There’s a mellow sweetness that underscores the whole thing, and the Kernza contributes a rye-like spice that I dig. I find that Long Root pairs well with afternoon bike rides and unseasonably warm heat waves.last_img read more

first_imgBy Dialogo January 05, 2011 Bilateral trade between Argentina and Brazil reached the historic figure of $32.949 billion dollars in 2010, following a sharp contraction the previous year due to the international crisis, the Brazilian Ministry of Industry and Trade announced. “We’ve set a record of more than 32 billion in bilateral trade with Argentina, with quite meaningful growth that shows the high degree of economic integration that exists between the two countries,” the Brazilian trade secretary, Welber Barral, told AFP. In 2009, due to the crisis, trade between Argentina and Brazil fell to 24.066 billion dollars, following the previous record of 30.864 billion in 2008. Brazilian exports to Argentina in 2010 came to 18.523 billion dollars, a 44.3% increase, led by iron ore, cars, machinery and equipment, and electronics. Imports from Argentina reached 14.426 billion dollars (+27.4%), led by cars, wheat, plastics, and machinery and equipment. Brazil ended up with a trade surplus of 4.097 billion dollars, the second largest in the history of the bilateral relationship, after the 2008 figure of 4.347 billion. Trade with the Mercosur countries also increased notably in 2010, with exports from Brazil to its neighbors worth 22.597 billion dollars (+42.2%) and imports worth 30.933 billion (+35.5%). Brazil had record exports of 201.916 billion dollars in 2010. Imports, worth 181.638 billion, also reached historic levels. For the second consecutive year, China was Brazil’s leading trade partner with a trade volume of 56.377 billion dollars, followed by the United States with 46.711 billion and then by Argentina with 32.949 billion.last_img read more

Brazil to Get Technology in Jet Deal

December 20, 2020 | mrhtxubs | No Comments

first_imgBy Dialogo February 21, 2011 A profile of the Inter American Defense College.THE BEST SOLUTION TO FREE OURSELVES FROM THE USA AND THE EU: 1-BRAZIL MUST OFFICIALLY CHANGE IT’S LANGUAGE TO SPANISH. THIS IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE AND QUICKEST WAY THAT EXISTS BECAUSE YOU ARE GUARANTEED THE MILLIONS OF THE COUNTRY’S POPULATION; IF WE HAVE MORE PEOPLE THAN THE USA, WE AVOID IT’S MILITARY THREAT. 2-CREATE THREE COUNTRIES IN SOUTH AMERICA; BRAZIL+COLOMBIA+PERU+CHILE+BOLIVIA+VENEZUELA+ECUADOR (345 MIL POP.). ARGENTINA+PARAGUAY+URUGUAY (52 MIL POP.). GUYANA+SURINAM+FRENCH GUYANA (1.5 MIL POP.) 3-AUDIT AND REDUCE OUTSIDE DEBTS. 4-COMPOSITION OF THE RESERVES OF THE NEW COUNTRY’S CENTRAL RESERVES: 40% LOCAL CURRENCY, 30% CHINESE CURRENCY, 20% INDIAN CURRENCY, 10% US CURRENCY. 5-MINIMUM SALARY=2/3 THE US SALARY. 6-BUILD NEW CITIES ON THE EDGE OF RIVERS AND AMAZON BASIN TRIBUTARIES-DE LA PLATA-ORINOCO. ESTABLISH THE SAME AMOUNT OF INHABITANTS IN EACH CITY; DEMOLISH AND REUSE THE LAND OF THE CITIES THAT ARE NOT BUILT OVER A RIVER, LAKE OR NEAR THE OCEAN. 7- BUILD A MEGA-DOUBLE BRIDGE ACROSS THE SOUTH ATLANTIC TO UNITE SALVADOR (EX-BRAZIL) WITH KINSHASA (DOM. REP. CONGO) THAT WOULD ALLOW PEDESTRIAN AND VEHICULAR TRAFFIC, HIGH SPEED TRAIN AND PIPELINES; TO STREAMLINE COMMERCE AND THE IMPORTATION OF RAW MATERIALS, ADD VALUE HERE AND THEN RESELL. Brazil would receive a “significant technology transfer” if it buys U.S.-made fighter jets, a U.S. Defense Department official said on 17 February, seeking to ease concerns before Brazil selects a winning bidder. The transfer of military technology is a key factor for Brazil as it considers Boeing’s F-18 Super Hornet, the Rafale by France’s Dassault, and the Gripen NG made by Saab of Sweden, for a contract worth between $4 billion and $7 billion. “I would argue that the technology transfer that we are offering of this magnitude would put Brazil at par with our close partners,” Frank Mora, deputy assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs, told a legislative committee. When asked if it were accurate that Brazil should not have doubts about the commitment to the technology transfer, he replied: “That is correct.” “The United States has made a robust proposal of the Super Hornet technology — a significant technology transfer,” he said. The contract is for 36 fighters with the possibility of many more aircraft in the future. The competition for the contract has dragged on for years, with President Dilma Rousseff inheriting it from her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who had declared a preference for French planes. Arturo Valenzuela, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, said during the hearing that “we always raise this issue” in talks between Brazil and the United States. President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Brazil in late March as part of a tour that includes stops in Chile and El Salvador. Brazil and the United States signed a military cooperation agreement in April 2010.last_img read more