Five Things We Learned from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Periscope Debut

first_img Related Shows Lin-Manuel Miranda in ‘Hamilton’ photo by Joan Marcus Star Files from $149.00 Hamiltoncenter_img Let’s get this guy in front of a (digital) crowd! Hamilton creator/star Lin-Manuel Miranda broadcast his first Periscope on June 21. The livestream(s) garnered 1.1 million hearts, and over 100K views on the two videos. Miranda addressed many burning fan questions on what he called the “Heart Tweet Machine,” from his favorite Disney movie (“The Little Mermaid’s the reason I’m sittin’ here”) to whether or not he’s a good bowler (“I’m all right. If I have two rum and cokes in me, I’m even better”). He played iTunes library shuffle roulette (apparently, he’s a huge fan of The Decemberists), showed off his dressing room at the Richard Rodgers Theatre and dropped knowledge on some projects Hamilfans have been eagerly waiting for. Here are five things we learned!1. Teerico.com Raised $50,000 for OrlandoThe family-owned business will launch a line starting in August from which a portion of the proceeds will go towards Broadway Care Equity Fights AIDS. Currently, you can purchase merch that references “In the Heights” and, of course, “Hamilton.” 2. “You’re not ready for who’s coming to Chicago”Hamilton will land in Chicago soon, and according to Miranda, the cast is going to be totally dope. He spilled that no one from the original cast will be heading to the Windy City, but he hinted the production will include some “familiar faces.” 3. The Hamilton Mixtape Hits Earbuds This NovemberAs previously reported, The Hamilton Mixtape will feature artists like Usher, Sia, Queen Latifah and more. Miranda even gave viewers an ultra-brief first listen of Busta Rhymes throwing down “My Shot.” The concept album will include both remixes and covers of songs from the smash hit musical, and we definitely can’t wait for it. Miranda said they’re hoping the album will be released the first week of November. 4. Groffsauce Will Be BackJonathan Groff will return to the stage as King George when Hamilton is filmed for archival footage. No word yet on what will be done with the footage, but maybe one day it will get sprung out of Gringotts. 5. The Ham Documentary Will Blow Us All AwayRaise a glass—or a popcorn bucket! Miranda is moving into the cinema world, and Hamilton will eventually blow audiences away at movie theaters. Emphasis on “eventually,” kids. Miranda recently said there would be a screen adaptation: “Someday. Probably not for, like, 20 years.” We’re willing to wait for it! Meanwhile, the doc will air on PBS in October and will include everything from some archival footage, a feature on other history musicals and a conversation with Nas about writing hip-hop music.  View Comments Lin-Manuel Mirandalast_img read more

States and conservation groups press case against Trump’s reversal of federal coal-lease moratorium

first_imgStates and conservation groups press case against Trump’s reversal of federal coal-lease moratorium FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:Attorneys for California, New Mexico, New York and Washington argue the coal sales have been shortchanging taxpayers because of low royalty rates and cause pollution that puts the climate and public health at risk.The states were joined by conservation groups and Montana’s Northern Cheyenne tribe in a lawsuit that seeks to revive a coal leasing moratorium imposed under President Barack Obama. The moratorium blocked new lease sales from federal lands that hold billions of tons of the fuel.The Trump administration said in court filings that ending the moratorium last year was of critical importance to the economy. That claim comes despite the slow pace of lease sales in recent years and a precipitous drop in demand for the heavily polluting fuel.U.S. lands in Western states including Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Colorado are a major source of coal for mining companies. There are 7.4 billion tons of the fuel in roughly 300 leases administered by the Bureau of Land Management .The judge has played the role of spoiler to Trump on another Obama administration policy reversal — the contentious Keystone XL oil sands pipeline from Canada. Trump approved the pipeline last year, but Morris blocked it temporarily in March. The judge said further environmental reviews were needed for the line to comply with federal laws.Some of those same laws are at the center of the coal moratorium dispute.The states and their allies want push to stop further leasing and resume a sweeping review of the program’s environmental effects. Government attorneys and the National Mining Association say the review started under Obama was a voluntary step and the Trump administration is within its rights to end it.More: States cite climate worries in push to stop US coal saleslast_img read more

Fridays on the Fly: 5 Pros from the Blue Ridge Fly Fishing Scene Share Their Secrets

first_imgThe world of fly fishing is constantly evolving, and the characters who shape the sport have evolved right along with it. Many of today’s guides and gurus double as Instagram celebrities. Some have intertwined passions and hobbies like art and music into their love for catching fish on the fly, while others have used fly fishing as a way to meet and overcome what might have otherwise been insurmountable challenges.I wanted to know more about the characters I was constantly seeing on my fly fishing heavy Instagram and Facebook news feeds, so I dug a little deeper. I happened upon a Virginia-native with one arm who ties flies and wrangles trout better than most anglers with two, a fly fishing tattoo artist out of West Asheville, and a classically trained bluegrass musician who can wield a fly rod and an upright bass with equal precision.Get to know some of the most interesting and eclectic characters in the Blue Ridge fly fishing scene.Josh WilliamsFranklin County, Va.Josh Williams is an Iraq war vet who lost his left arm in a motorcycle accident while driving to guard duty in Ft. Hood, Texas. The accident was life changing, but Josh didn’t let it slow him down. He discovered fly fishing during his long road to recovery and took to the sport with gusto. Because of his injury he fights fish by stripping line in with the aid of his teeth. Soon after adopting the sport he began tying his own flies and got so good at it that Orvis started selling two of his signature patterns— Josh’s White Lightning and Josh’s Wiggle Hellgrammite. These days the Franklin County, Va., native owns a company called Dead-Drift Flies which specializes in hand tied flies, guiding, and fly fishing-themed apparel.JoshWilliams3_FIXWhat drew you to the sport of fly fishing? I’ve always found peace and excitement while fishing, and fly fishing brought that to a new level, especially the peace aspect after deployment and later losing my left arm. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I’m holding a fish with just one arm, and I love the comradery I’ve found in the fly fishing community. Favorite fish to catch on the fly? My absolute favorite is the brook trout. But in the summer, my heart belongs to smalljaws.Favorite regional fishing spot? That’s a hard one. I love several of the places within an hour of me. You’ve got the James and the New River and dozens of wild rainbow and native brook trout streams. Botetourt County offers a really cool hike stream with nice waterfalls called Roaring Run. Giles County has Little Stony Creek, which has a 69-foot waterfall. Both streams have a healthy supply of wild rainbows and native brookies. There are more, but you gotta get in my truck with a blindfold.Most important lesson you’ve learned on the water? The best lesson I’ve learned about fishing in the area was learned as a kid growing up in the region. Slow down. This becomes so important when brook trout fishing. Take a few minutes to observe the scene before stepping up to the water. You’ll see hidden trout, feeding behavior, and insect activity. And by going smooth and steady, you cover those spots that you’d swear have no fish yet somehow deliver a hidden gem.Most memorable fly fishing moment? I’ve had some pretty funny fails and some amazing opportunities to fish for amazing fish. But the craziest thing happened when I was in Alaska in 2014. After netting multiple pink salmon, my rod snapped at the second section. A buddy convinced me to try casting it with just the tip section (since I don’t need a reel so much with my teeth retrieval). I tried, and actually produced a nice cast. One nice enough to hook up on a pink. The story, as well as YouTube link, can be found at http://deaddriftva.com/fishing/healing-towers-day-7.What are the two most important flies in your fly box? Wooly bugger for warmwater fish, and an elk hair caddis for coldwater trout. I’ve caught more fish on those patterns than any other.Danny ReedAsheville, N.C.Danny Reed is the co-founder of Crooked Creek Holler, a unique apparel company that started with just a sticker and a T-shirt. When he’s not fly fishing or working on his newly developed company, he can usually be found at Hot Stuff Tattoo shop in West Asheville where he’s one of the head artists. Whether he’s in the tattoo parlor or working out new designs for Crooked Creek Holler, much of Danny’s art begins with a real life fly fishing adventure. “I only create designs based on fish I’ve caught or animals I’ve hunted,” Danny says. “It all tells a story. As the company grows, I grow as an outdoorsman. New fish, new art, new gear and new experiences.”SAMSUNG CSCHow’d you get into fly fishing? What is it that drew you to the sport?I think what drew me more to fly fishing than anything else was the ability to escape from work and day to day activities, and actually get outside. I’ve lived in the Asheville area since 1999, and I felt like I really wasn’t utilizing all the great stuff this area has to offer.Favorite fish to catch on the fly? Definitely the smallmouth bass. They are aggressive and put up an exciting fight, especially on a fly rod. I have a lot of respect for them as a species. They grow at a really slow pace. It’s awesome to land a big smallie, knowing that that fish is pushing 15-20 years in age.Favorite regional fishing spot? I’d say most of my favorite regional spots are in east Tennessee. Lots of good bass and trout fishing goes on in that area.Best piece of advice or lesson you’ve learned about fishing in the Blue Ridge?The best lesson I’ve learned about fly fishing is to focus less on catching giant fish and more on being happy that you’re on the water and not at work. Don’t get me wrong, catching big fish is awesome, but it’s important not to lose sight of what it’s actually all about—being outside and taking a break from reality.Most memorable fly fishing moment? My most memorable fishing moment is hard to pin down. I’ve had some amazing times all over the country. Catching a big brown on the South Holston can be pretty unforgettable. I was just recently on Beaver Island in Michigan, and I caught some awesome carp, smallmouth and pike, but I’d have to say I’m most excited about heading to Brazil in October to chase peacock bass.If you had to fish with one fly for the rest of your life what would it be? This is a toss up between a Clouser or a Girdle Bug or a Pat’s Rubber Legs. Clouser’s are great for freshwater and salt and most fish will eat them, but I’ve caught a ton of different species on a girdle bug. Trout, bass, carp, bluegill, you name it. Freshwater fish love those things!Tom SadlerHarrisonburg, Va.Tom Sadler found his way to a fly fishing career by way of Washington, D.C. where he worked as a conservation lobbyist in his former life. When the strain of the D.C.’s cutthroat political climate became too much to bear, Tom left it all and headed for the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to hone his fly fishing skills and share them with others. Today he is the executive director of the Outdoor Writers Association of America and the resident Tenkara guide at Mossy Creek Fly Fishing.TFHP_distinction-magazine-tenkara-5-FIXHow long have you been fly fishing? Does iT run in your family? My grandfathers, father, and stepfather were all fly fisherman so I learned from them. I started out trolling streamers on Moosehead Lake in Maine with a fly rod. As I got older, they taught me to cast a fly rod, and I’ve never used anything else.Favorite fish to catch on the fly? Brook trout are my favorite fish to catch on a fly. They are voracious, acrobatic and beautiful to look at when they come to hand.Favorite regional fishing spot?Here in Virginia, the Rapidan in the Shenandoah National Park, Dry River in the George Washington National Forest, and Mossy Creek in Augusta County.Best piece of advice or lesson you’d give a newbie?Learn to use a tenkara rod. Seriously, it is the most simple and effective way to fish mountain streams or spring creeks.Most memorable fishing moment?As a guide, the best memories come when clients catch fish they did not expect to catch. The smile on their faces and look of wonder in their eyes is memorable every time. It’s what makes guiding such a joy.If you had to pick one fly TO fish with for the rest of you life, what would it be?Olive Parachute Madam X.George DanielState College, Penn.George Daniel started fishing the mountain streams of Pennsylvania at age six. Since then he’s become a highly revered fly fishing expert, not only in the Blue Ridge but around the nation. He literally wrote the book on nymphing—Dynamic Nymphing— and has traveled to some of the world’s most renowned fishing holes with a fly rod in tow. Today he owns a company called Livin’ on the Fly, through which he offers specialized instruction and guided trips in the Pennsylvania limestone country.GeorgeDaniel1_EDITYou’ve been fly fishing for most of your life. Tell us about the journey that brought you to where you are today.I grew up in Germania, a small village in northern Pennsylvania along the New York and Pennsylvania border. We were a one car family and my father was usually working, and there was this small stream called Germania Branch that flowed past our house. It was a kid’s only section and I was the only kid in the village that fished, so I had my own private brook trout fishery all to myself from age 6 to 14.Do you have a favorite species?While I’m starting to target other species, trout are far and away my favorite. I love the places trout fishing has taken me—everywhere from the mountain streams of Pennsylvania to the Alps of Italy and spring creeks in Portugal, to the western United State and all the way to New Zealand. As much as everyone wants to compare the similarity of streams, the truth is no two streams are identical. Every stream contains its own unique set of problems to solve.Do you have a favorite regional fishing spot you’d be willing to share?Central Pennsylvania. Maybe because it’s my home and where I’ve had so many fond experiences. Also, fish in that region do not give themselves up easily. I like a challenge, and my home waters offer me exactly what most anglers need on a regular basis—a big piece of humble pie.Best piece of advice or lesson you’ve learned about fishing in the region?Don’t give up on a spot after several casts. Our streams have excellent trout populations, but they demand good presentation. This means you must constantly change the weight of your nymphing rig or alter the size of your dry fly. Don’t give up on a good spot. While this advice applies to all waters, it rings particularly true in the Central Pennsylvania region.Let’s hear your best fish story.It was the day both of my children caught their first trout on the fly. Just seeing the wonder and excitement in their eyes takes me back to the strong emotional connection I had with trout growing up. While I continue to travel the country and the globe, that moment of watching both my children catch their fish will always be a favorite.If you had to pick one fly TO fish with for the rest of you life, what would it be?“The tug is the drug” is a favorite comment of streamer anglers. I have to admit, I’m addicted to streamer fishing so I’m going with a size 6 sparkle minnow streamer pattern.Saravanan ‘Sav’ SankaranAsheville, N.C.Sav is the fishing manager at Orvis Asheville, where he spends much of his time providing customers with valuable tips about the fly fishing mecca that is Western North Carolina. When he’s not geeking out on trout, he’s honing his impressive musical skills, a repertoire that includes proficiency in the arts of singing, banjo playing, guitar picking and stand up bass. In fact, he is one of the most in-demand stand up bassists in Western North Carolina’s rich bluegrass scene, and he’s toured with such artists as The Jon Stickley Trio and The Dixie Bee-Liners. Here’s more about Sav and his lifelong fly fishing obsession in his own words.Sav High Res Credit Nathan Rivers Chesky, NRC Photography_FIXHow’d you get into fly fishing?Growing up in rural central Pennsylvania, I was introduced to the sport early on, being that the area is home to many miles of famed trout water, and fly fishing is a common pastime.What is it that drew you to the sport?I love the challenge of fly casting, as well as the opportunity the sport presents to learn more about various ecosystems, entomology, hydrology, and more. Fly fishing provides me with a framework to explore and experience my surroundings in a new and novel way.Favorite fish to catch on the fly?I have a soft spot for brook trout, particularly those found in our Southern Appalachian mountain streams. There’s something special about catching a native species in a setting that they have inhabited since the last Ice Age. They will take a well-presented fly readily, and their habitat is often beautiful and remote, all of which makes them my favorite species to chase with the fly rod.Do you have A favorite regional fishing spot?With so much amazing water within a short drive of Asheville, it’s tough to pick just one! In my opinion, the gem of Western North Carolina’s abundant resources is the plethora of “blue lines” that beckon any angler who looks at the map! Our many wild trout streams are my favorite place to spend some time on the water.Best piece of advice or lesson you’ve learned about fishing in the region?The most important lesson I’ve learned is that when it comes to becoming a better angler, there is no substitute to time spent on the water. To genuinely know an ecosystem as diverse and challenging as western N.C., you simply have to put the time in on the water.What’s your favorite thing about working in the fly fishing industry?My work at Orvis Asheville gives me the opportunity to interact with a lot of folks who are passionate about fly fishing. The most indelible of those moments is to see a beginning fly fisher get excited about the sport! Being in a position to pass on a love for the outdoors is extremely rewarding.If you could only tie and use one fly for the rest of your fly fishing days what would it be?Parachute Adams. It’s such a versatile fly pattern that is suggestive of a large group of food sources, and can be used just about anywhere!last_img read more

Coming Home: Rediscovering my hometown of Berryville, Virginia

first_imgAn hour and a half west of our nation’s capital is the rural community of Berryville, Va., population 4,304. A seemingly idyllic oasis among the northern Virginia sprawl, Berryville has all of the ingredients to be an outdoor recreation hub—the Appalachian Trail and Shenandoah River are both just minutes from downtown. So what’s missing? I went home to find out.I always take the back roads when I’m home. My favorite is Lockes Mill. It begins at the end of Chilly Hollow, where pavement turns to gravel, and meanders along the bucolic banks of the Shenandoah River.In high school, my friends and I would pile into one car and cruise its dusty length for no other reason than to watch the valley fly past our windows. It’s a beautiful drive any time of year. In the summer, tubers can be seen floating downstream in pods, all legs and cold beer, basking in the dappled sunlight streaming through the canopy. When the leaves have fallen and the summer crowds abate, the sycamore trees stand guard alone, their watchful white trunks bowing over the river.The last time I drove Lockes Mill, it was an unusually mild winter day, the kind of crisp warmth that hinted spring was on its way. The sun was just beginning to dip beyond the horizon. As I passed by Watermelon Park, a bride-to-be looked up from her photo shoot. Out of reflex, I waved, and she returned the greeting with a smile that said I don’t know you, but I’m sure I do.That’s how it is in my hometown of Berryville, Virginia: everyone knows everyone. It feels deeply familiar here, a timelessness that transcends my own family’s relatively short history living in Clarke County. Case in point: over 30% of the county is located within five National Register historic districts. From battlefields to plantation estates and pastureland fenced in by centuries-old limestone walls, the county is a living, breathing chapter of an American history textbook.During the Civil War, the county was considered the “Bread Basket of the Confederacy.” The likes of George Washington and “the Gray Ghost” John Mosby made their way through here. After the war, wheat plantations turned to apple orchards and sprawling horse and cattle farms. I grew up on one of the latter, a 400-acre thoroughbred horse farm smack dab in the middle of the county.It was here at the northern tip of the Shenandoah Valley that I first came to know and love the outdoors. And while the county’s farmland obviously provides fertile ground for fostering a love of nature, there’s plenty more in the way of natural resources, too—namely the Shenandoah River and the Appalachian Trail—that perfectly position Berryville to be a leading outdoor town.Except, it’s not. Not yet, at least.Shenandoah River Berryville, VALocals enjoying the Shenandoah River. / Tim FarmerBack To The FutureStacey Ellis was born and raised in Clarke County. We met for the first time back in February on her family’s property, Oak Hart Farm, situated just outside of Berryville. As we walked along the quiet fields in the shadow of the mountains, Ellis told me how she convinced her husband to return to her hometown for a slower pace of life. They now raise their two boys just three miles from Ellis’ childhood home.“I love the fact that my kids have the same librarian that I did,” says Ellis. “I appreciate that I can take my kids down by the river and ride bikes on a gravel road. I feel kinda lucky in that sense.”During the school year, Ellis is an Associate Professor and Program Lead of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation at Lord Fairfax Community College. In her hiking course, Ellis takes the class on day hikes and overnighters that are within the county or nearby, and says the majority of her students are unaware of the recreational amenities available in their own backyards.Given that local resources for recreation have expanded in recent years, the disconnect is surprising. In 2013, Shenandoah University purchased and preserved 195 acres along the Shenandoah River. Previously a golf course, the Shenandoah River Campus at Cool Spring Battlefield now serves as an outdoor classroom and offers easily accessible walking and biking trails for the public.Not long after the opening of Cool Spring, area mountain bikers secured access to the neighboring 1,400-acre Rolling Ridge Study Retreat. The 12-mile Perimeter Trail is now the only technical riding within county limits.And in 2015, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy officially recognized Berryville as an Appalachian Trail Community. Situated just seven miles east of town, the white blaze runs for 22 miles through the county, including the 13-mile “Roller Coaster” section.Despite these developments, not much has changed about Berryville since I lived there. Even Ellis sees little difference between the Berryville she knew as a child and the Berryville her kids know now, which is part of its charm. There’s a new high school (finally), a roundabout, a Greek place where the Tastee Freez used to be. But compared to its neighbor Loudoun County, which has consistently ranked as one of the fastest growing counties in the nation, Clarke County feels remarkably stuck in time.Part of that is intentional says William Steinmetz, a local realtor and member of the town’s planning commission. Back in the 1980s, the county adopted Sliding Scale Zoning, which essentially concentrated growth in the town and limited development in the rural areas of the county. In effect, that zoning allowed Clarke County to maintain its open spaces, even while the rest of northern Virginia erupted in D.C. sprawl. Additionally, the county has long prioritized conservation. Not including the Appalachian Trail, over 27,000 acres (that’s one-quarter of the county) are currently protected in conservation easements.“Geographically it can’t be ignored,” says Steinmetz. “It’s a really unique place that somebody started planning long before anybody was paying attention to that. It’s a reasonable distance from Washington, D.C., but we’re close to I-81, we’re on the river, there’s a mountain range that runs through the county, and there’s intentional open space but still a robust downtown that chooses to incorporate all of that into its identity.”The lazy Shenandoah River / Tom O’Connor_Foto KimoBy all appearances, Berryville should be leading the way when it comes to bolstering an outdoor recreation economy. The town already has trail and river access, low-traffic country roads ideal for road cycling, a thriving arts scene headed by the Barns of Rose Hill, and killer bluegrass festivals like Watermelon Park Festival and Pasture Palooza. Located at the crossroads of routes 7 and 340, it’s easy to get to. There are three wineries and a number of quality restaurants. So what is keeping Berryville in the proverbial dark?“This town walks into the future backwards,” says local and A.T. section hiker Lee Sheaffer. “It’s always looking behind them and a lot of that is good. You don’t want to change the quality of the community. But there are certain things that could be enhanced that are not going to change that quality and might actually help economically.”Throughout his own Appalachian Trail experience, Sheaffer has passed through many towns that, when it comes to trail hospitality, are doing it right. Places like Waynesboro, Glasgow, and Damascus, Va., aren’t just conveniently located on or near the trail; they’re actively improving amenities for hikers to make the entire experience feel more welcoming. Even Front Royal, Va., just down the road from Berryville provides hiker boxes and shuttles to and from the trailhead.“It would be advantageous to the town to really embrace the long-distance thru hikers,” says Sheaffer. “In Waynesboro, everything is really spread out. It’s almost a mile from where they put you up in a campsite to all of the businesses. In Berryville, if we can figure out somewhere to put these hikers up, everything you need is within 100 yards of where the center of town is: the post office, grocery store, laundromat, doctor. It would kinda be a no-brainer for people to come in and resupply.”Rose Hill Park in downtown Berryville, Virginia.What Berryville is missing is affordable lodging. There are a few Airbnbs and bed and breakfasts, but not many. In 2013, a hotel feasibility study was completed, and support seems to be building behind the development of a small hotel. As far as camping, Rose Hill Park on East Main Street seems like the obvious place to let thru hikers crash, but opponents say allowing hikers to camp in town will increase vagrancy. That’s not been Sheaffer’s experience. Even if problems do arise, he says, the economic benefits would far outweigh the challenges.“Talk to the Winks over at the Horsehoe Curve Restaurant [near the Appalachian Trail]. They know that dirty hikers come in with cash in hand. And here’s the thing—yes, they might smell and they might be dirty, but first off, they want a shower as bad as you want them to take one, and secondly, most hikers are newly graduated or newly retired. They have money and are willing to spend it for a certain amount of comfort.”The times, are they a-changin’?Even more so than the county’s Sliding Scale Zoning, what’s keeping Berryville seemingly unchanged is the pervading sentiment that life is good, simple, and sweet. The influx of people moving to town from Ashburn, Leesburg, and Purcellville come specifically for that easygoing pace. Change, however well intentioned, could threaten that.“The crown jewel of Clarke County is its country roads and the road cycling experience,” says Frederick County Park and Stewardship Planner Jon Turkel, “but improving that comes with its own balance of challenges. You want to promote things to benefit from them but at the same time, you want to be careful that you don’t change the character in a way that would alter the interest or appeal of whatever that experience happens to be. It’s always a fine line between getting people to come and feeling like maybe there are too many people around.”On any given summer day, the adverse effects of overuse can be seen in no better place than Lockes Mill, my beloved backroad. The Shenandoah River only has three access points in the county and one of those is Lockes Landing. Not only is the boat launch at Lockes Landing the smallest of the three, it’s also the most popular.“I think people are recognizing the river is a great place to go but it turns negative when people are parking alongside the road,” says Clarke County Natural Resource Planner Alison Teetor. “It’s pretty overcrowded on the weekends and it is getting worse.”The resulting tension, here and at other heavily used access points like the Appalachian Trail parking lot at Snickers Gap, pits private landowners against outdoor enthusiasts. That, in and of itself, can stall progress. The hope, says farmer and author Forrest Pritchard, is that the community can come together behind not just outdoor recreation but tourism in general to help diversify the county’s economy.Summer bounty at Oak Hart Farm.“If farmers have the wisdom to view this objectively, it might not necessarily be in their interest to bring in more folks but what it would benefit is our local tax dollars,” says Pritchard. “Clarke County is not some mining town out in the middle of remote Idaho. It’s ideally set up for tourism. I kinda consider Clarke like grandma’s dusty pearls sitting in her jewelry box. We know what we’ve got, we’ve appreciated it, but we’re still waiting to be fully discovered. When you find grandma’s vintage jewelry from the ‘20s, it suddenly comes back in style.”Pritchard is part of a growing movement in Clarke County to meld the old with the new. Smithfield Farm has been in his family for seven generations, and in the past two decades, Pritchard has singlehandedly changed the farm from commodity-based agriculture to a sustainable grass-finished livestock operation that direct markets all of its food. During the season, Pritchard leads farm tours. He sees agritourism as a viable, alternative means of income for farms throughout the county.I kinda consider Clarke like grandma’s dusty pearls sitting in her jewelry box. We know what we’ve got, we’ve appreciated it, but we’re still waiting to be fully discovered.At the end of the day, Berryville needs more Pritchards to not only champion the potential but to then roll up their sleeves and make it happen. It’s easier said than done. Those who were born and raised and stayed in Clarke County might be like Mark Timberlake, who took over the family cattle farm some 20 years ago. Timberlake majored in outdoor recreation and was a raft guide and video boater on the New and Gauley Rivers throughout the ‘90s, but when he and his wife Michelle moved back to his father’s farm, all of that took a backseat to running a cattle operation.Michelle Timberlake riding at Rolling Ridge near the Shenandoah River Campus at Cool Spring Battlefield. Photo: Kevin Wetzel“The first 10 years were really hard for me to get this thing up and going,” he says. “It took a lot of time working to get the farm where it needed to be, but raising our kids here in Clarke County on a 500-acre cattle farm, I can’t see any other place I’d want to be.”Michelle agrees that as far as quality of life, Clarke County has it all. Both Mark and Michelle are mountain bikers now and enjoy the local trail at Rolling Ridge. She says compared to other small town recreation hubs like Davis, W.Va., Berryville ranks right up there with the rest as far as amenities. What it needs is to keep momentum rolling forward.“I see so much potential of what could be done,” she says. “I think it will come, it’s just going to take the younger people not just demanding it but making it happen.”The Making of a Mountain TownDig deeper into any small town success story and it’s clear the common denominator isn’t just the close proximity to rivers and mountains. It’s the selfless work of passionate people.Take Franklin, N.C., for example. Back in 2010, when Outdoor 76 co-owners Cory McCall and Rob Gasbarro opened up their outdoor outfitter and taproom, Franklin’s Main Street was boarded up. Nobody thought they would make it through the year. Today, Franklin supports a thriving outdoors community comprised of tourists, locals, and those dirty Appalachian Trail thru hikers. There’s a budding restaurant scene and two breweries (in a town of 3,500). The town won our Top Towns contest two years in a row in 2015 and 2016. And at the heart of it all are Cory, Rob, Outdoor 76, and their hallmark race The Naturalist 25K and 50K.Shepherdstown Pedal and Paddle owner Eddie Sampson.About a half-hour’s drive north of Berryville, the college town of Shepherdstown, W.Va., has experienced similar success in the realm of outdoor tourism. Overlooking a bend of the Potomac River right at the Maryland – West Virginia border, the town of approximately 2,000 has always had a youthful vibe to it, thanks to the presence of Shepherd University. But with the exception of the cyclists touring the C&O Canal, outdoor recreation played very little role in the town’s identity.Then, between 2008 and 2009, two outdoor stores came to town that reshaped the local community: Shepherdstown Pedal & Paddle and Two Rivers Treads. With the support of these two shops and the creation of Freedom’s Run, an annual running race that funds numerous trail projects, Shepherdstown’s local outdoor community blossomed. For Eddie Sampson, owner of Shepherdstown Pedal & Paddle, the longevity of his business (which will celebrate its 11th anniversary this year) had everything to do with supporting locals first.“For the most part, people living in a community don’t want others coming into their town because it gets crowded out, but when people start to realize that added amenities improve their quality of life every day and should be shared, it’s possible to get everyone on the same page,” says Sampson. “It can work for everyone. This is how small towns survive these days.”For Two Rivers Treads owner and local doctor Mark Cucuzzella, serving the local community meant more than just providing a place for runners to buy shoes. It meant organizing group runs, providing free-of-charge seminars on nutrition and diabetes reversal, and even offering cooking classes to help West Virginia address some of its most serious health issues.Biking In Berryville, VirginiaMichelle and her husband Mark Timberlake riding at Rolling Ridge near the Shenandoah River Campus at Cool Spring Battlefield. Photo: Kevin WetzelIt also meant relocating his business out of Shepherdstown to the nearby town of Ranson, a suburb of Charles Town. Unlike Shepherdstown and Charles Town, Ranson lacked a lot of the resources its sister cities had. It was like “the poor steptown” in Jefferson County, says Cucuzzella. But over the past few years, the town has made many drastic improvements to its walkability by revitalizing sidewalks and adding streetlights. A multiuse trail connecting Charles Town and Ranson has already been approved and received funding.Cucuzzella’s shop is one of the pillar retail businesses in Ranson’s downtown sector. When he goes out for a run, whether that’s in Ranson or in Shepherdstown, he’s rarely the only runner out there, and that, he says, is the first indication that a community is well on its way to becoming a mountain town.“You’ve got to have playgrounds and walkable safe streets,” says Cucuzzella. “That’s your first step. You don’t need a national or state park, because even if you had that a mile away, if you gotta get in the car and drive there, it loses its impact because the kids that will need that experience most don’t have a car. Sure, it’s great to have a Harpers Ferry or an Antietam nearby, but an outdoor town can be one that just gets people outside.”By Cucuzzella’s reasoning, maybe Berryville isn’t so far behind after all. Sure, there aren’t any cycling events like there used to be. There’s no brewery in town to make thirsty hikers linger longer. There’s no outfitter or bike shop or guiding service. But what Berryville lacks in these it makes up for with a remarkable pride in sense of place that is every bit as centered on the outdoors as all of the Boulders and Ashevilles of the world.And perhaps, like Forrest Pritchard’s grandma’s set of forgotten pearls, Berryville is quietly shining in its own little corner, waiting to be discovered.last_img read more

Don’t let CECL catch you off guard

first_imgCredit unions and community banks have an extra year to comply with CECL, Current Expected Credit Losses, compared to financial institutions registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Financial institutions should take advantage of the additional implementation time. Scurrying last minute to comply may prove problematic when the examiners show up.Financial institutions that have a solid plan in place and are executing against it should be in good shape. These institutions are performing the required due diligence and preparation for the open-ended approach to reserving for loan loss and capital required by CECL. As the head of a company that markets preapprovals and crunches data analytics for portfolio risk management, CECL is a prudent shift and will help stabilize lenders in future downturns.I recently spoke on a panel at the Cornerstone Credit Union League to discuss the impact of CECL with attendees. The session provided a great opportunity to understand how credit unions of all sizes are adjusting their balance sheet and loan mix to prepare for CECL. Many said they didn’t expect any changes to their balance sheet nor their approach to lending prior to implementation; they simply see it as a change in accounting practice that will require stronger oversight. But credit unions’ ability to price loans will be a crucial factor in the aftermath of CECL. “One of the most significant impacts of CECL, in my view, is that loans will need to be allowed for from the time they are funded,” CEO of an audit firm explained. “This means that loan promotions must consider the impact of new loans on the allowance as part of program viability. Pricing will be critical, so, if a loan is inadequately priced loan yield will suffer, and ROA will be reduced. This situation could cause credit unions to rethink the types and grades of loans they are approving and funding.”A Southern California credit union CEO shared, “My biggest concern is not the implementation of CECL, but rather the documentation and expectation of proof, policies, methodologies, etc., from NCUA, DBO and auditors. I fully expect examiners to ramp up expectations year after year, similar to changes in regulation. I am concerned about the additional bottom line costs, especially in the first year. If this becomes a lingering new challenge to our capital strength efforts (with risk-based capital coming our way also) I may want to consider changing strategies in lending risk. That will be difficult to do because our credit union works a lot with the underserved.”  A few CPAs I know said it is critical for financial institutions to include their accountants early and often in reviewing their modeling and methodologies. They also shared that it’s important for the accountants to work closely with the institutions’ boards to ensure everyone understands the changes, why they’re being made and their impact, as well as the examiners so the financial institution can be assured its forging the right path to compliance. CPAs must be involved from initiation through implementation of the project.“My contention is that CECL won’t necessarily be as difficult as expected,” one credit union CFO said. “By definition the ALLL balance is an estimate and we will need to have backup for our calculations but there is no necessarily ‘right’ answer. A lot of the work will be to understand how you have estimated and be able to convince the CPAs you have a valid estimate and know what you are doing. I believe it will be more important to convince the CPAs than the examiners and I expect examiners will depend on the CPAs.” In preparation, financial institutions must ensure they have clean credit data and the right data. Ensuring you have the right team in place is also important, whether outside contractors or adding staff, to make sure you have the necessary expertise. Finally, plan and test and test – and test some more. CECL is one of the biggest changes to financial institutions’ accounting practices in decades, and they can’t afford not to be prepared. 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Shana Richardson Shana Richardson began her career in financial technology with the Texas Credit Union League. Here, she managed the turnkey, pre-screen Auto Loan Recapture™ program, and later assumed broader responsibilities as … Web: www.sertech.com Detailslast_img read more

2 ways to tackle analytics. 1 credit union.

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Nearly a decade ago, Grow Financial Federal Credit Union ($2.5B, Tampa, FL) faced a problem to which many other credit unions can relate. Each department within the organization collected large volumes of member data, which helped the credit union make more informed decisions in the moment. However, this decentralized data structure created internal challenges when querying.“We were getting different answers to the same questions depending on who asked it, how it was asked, and who they asked,” says Emily Nichols, the credit union’s vice president of analytic services.To solve these issues, Grow needed to centralize its data reporting to answer questions and make better business decisions. In August 2011, Grow started its journey toward centralization. At the time, responsibility for data reporting fell under IT. But because the scope of the project was so large, Grow’s CFO asked Nichols to own the transition herself under a soon-to-be-formed analytics department.For two months, Nichols interviewed business owners across the organization to understand the organization’s appetite for data. How did business owners query data? How did they use it? What data did they need but not have?last_img read more

Navigating NCUA’s new fidelity bond rule

first_imgOn Oct. 22, the National Credit Union Administration published a rule amending its fidelity bond regulations (Parts 704 for corporate credit unions and 713 for natural person credit unions). In addition to this checklist (free download with registration), here are four things to consider for complying with the new rule.The responsibility for compliance with the first two items falls to credit unions.1. Strengthen Board of Directors’ OversightThe new rule increases the board’s oversight responsibility for fidelity bond coverage. It requires the board of directors to annually review the CU’s fidelity and other insurance coverage. This will help ensure that coverage is adequate in relation to the potential risks facing the credit union and the minimum requirements set by NCUA. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Gobernador Wolf: Reapertura dirigida para el 8 de mayo en las regiones Centro-norte, Noroeste

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Español,  Press Release,  Public Health El enfoque por fases se basa en la seguridad y la cienciaHoy el Gobernador Tom Wolf presentó su plan detallado para la reapertura del Estado con un objetivo de inicio para el 8 de mayo. La administración clasificará la reapertura en tres fases de color rojo, amarillo y verde. Las fases se asignarán de acuerdo a las condiciones de un condado, condados o región.En primer lugar, la administración estudiará las condiciones en las regiones centro-norte y noroeste con el objetivo de pasar del rojo al amarillo el 8 de mayo. La semana próxima se realizará una supervisión adicional y se darán instrucciones.Para poder decidir cuándo pasar a una nueva fase, la administración utilizará las métricas del Departamento de Salud y una herramienta de información desarrollada por Carnegie Mellon University. El plan completo está disponible aquí.La fase roja, que actualmente corresponde a todo el estado, tiene el único objetivo de minimizar la propagación de la COVID-19 a través del estricto distanciamiento social, el cierre de las empresas que no son de soporte vital y de las escuelas, y la creación de protocolos de seguridad. Gobernador Wolf: Reapertura dirigida para el 8 de mayo en las regiones Centro-norte, Noroeste Las órdenes de mitigación agresiva se levantanTodas las personas deben seguir las guías de los CDC y del Departamento de Salud de Pennsylvania Restricciones sociales Todas las empresas deben seguir las guías de los CDC y del Departamento de Salud de Pennsylvania Restricciones sociales Las órdenes de quedarse en casa siguen vigentesLas grandes reuniones están prohibidasEl funcionamiento de restaurantes y bares se limita al consumo para llevar o para envíoSe recomienda viajar únicamente por motivos de soporte vital April 22, 2020 Work & Restricciones respecto del trabajo y la congregación Las restricciones de quedarse en casa se levantan en favor de una mitigación agresivaLas reuniones grandes de más de 25 personas están prohibidasLa venta minorista en persona está permitida; se prefiere la entrega en la acera y el envíoLos centros de recreación, centros de salud y bienestar (como gimnasios, spas) y todos los entretenimientos en interiores (como casinos, teatros) permanecen cerradosEl funcionamiento de los restaurantes y bares se limita al consumo para llevar o para envío Supervisar los indicadores de la salud pública, ajustar las órdenes y las restricciones según sea necesarioAsí como la administración adoptó un enfoque medido, condado por condado, para la orden de quedarse en casa antes de expandirla a todo el estado, hará lo mismo para aliviar las restricciones y reabrir el estado.La semana pasada, el Gobernador anunció por primera vez los estándares para la reapertura. Siguen siendo el punto focal para los planes integrales que se anunciaron hoy:El enfoque se basará en la información y dependerá de los criterios cuantificables para impulsar un enfoque regional dirigido y basado en evidencias para la reapertura de Pennsylvania.Habrá guías y recomendaciones para empleadores, individuos, centros médicos y proveedores para garantizar la rendición de cuentas a medida que reabramos.La reapertura exige que los equipos de protección personal adecuados y las pruebas de diagnóstico estén disponibles.La reapertura exige un programa de supervisión y vigilancia que permita al Estado desplegar medidas rápidas de contención o mitigación.Las protecciones para las poblaciones vulnerables deben permanecer firmes a través de todo el proceso de reapertura, como las limitaciones al número de visitantes en los servicios de atención conjunta y las prisiones.Las limitaciones a las grandes reuniones no relacionadas con las ocupaciones deben permanecer vigentes durante el proceso de reapertura.El Estado está colaborando con Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) para crear una herramienta de apoyo a la toma de decisiones basada en la información que permitirá un equilibrio entre maximizar el fortalecimiento de la economía y minimizar los riesgos para la salud pública. Esta herramienta ayudará a los funcionarios a comprender mejor la situación de salud y económica actual, así como los riesgos y los beneficios inherentes a la flexibilización de las restricciones por sector y región.No existe una herramienta o modelo único que pueda determinar la flexibilización de las restricciones o la reapertura, sino el Estado, a través de alianzas con Carnegie Mellon University y otras instituciones de educación superior, y los criterios establecidos por el Departamento de Salud, que tomará decisiones informadas en base a la información y la ciencia.Para poder determinar cuándo una región está lista para reabrir y volver a trabajar, el estado evaluará la tasa de incidencia de casos de COVID-19 per cápita, basándose en los distritos de salud regionales existentes utilizados por el Departamento de Salud de Pennsylvania. Una evaluación regional medirá los casos de COVID-19 para determinar si se cumplen las metas de un promedio de menos de 50 casos por cada 100,000 personas en el transcurso de 14 días. La administración trabajará codo a codo con los gobiernos locales y de los condados para permitir la reapertura de las comunidades y la transición del regreso al trabajo.A través de este proceso, la administración tendrá una guía para apoyar las mejores prácticas de salud pública con el fin de evitar estas consecuencias negativas. Esta guía reforzará y se basará en las órdenes de seguridad de empresas y edificios y se adaptará a la naturaleza cambiante de la pandemia, incluso a medida que aprendamos de la reapertura de las primeras comunidades.Ver esta página en inglés.center_img Restricciones sociales Solamente empresas que son de soporte vitalLas restricciones para los servicios de atención conjunta y las prisiones siguen vigentesLas escuelas (para la instrucción en persona) y la mayoría de los centros de cuidado de niños permanecen cerrados El teletrabajo debe continuar cuando sea factibleLas empresas con operaciones en persona deben seguir las órdenes de seguridad para las empresas y los edificiosEl cuidado de niños permanece abierto cumpliendo con las órdenes de seguridad de los trabajadores y de los edificiosLas restricciones para los servicios de atención conjunta y las prisiones siguen vigentesLas escuelas permanecen cerradas para la instrucción en persona Work & Restricciones respecto del trabajo y la congregación Amarillo Todas las empresas deben seguir las guías de los CDC y del DOH para el distanciamiento social y la limpiezaSupervisar los indicadores de salud pública, ajustar las órdenes y las restricciones según sea necesarioLa fase verde alivia la mayoría de las restricciones al levantar las órdenes de quedarse en casa y de cierre de empresas para permitir que la economía se reabra estratégicamente al tiempo que se continúa priorizando a la salud pública. Si bien esta fase coordinará el regreso a una “nueva normalidad”, será igualmente importante seguir supervisando los indicadores de la salud pública y ajustar las órdenes y las restricciones según sea necesario con el fin de garantizar que la propagación de la enfermedad se mantenga al mínimo. Verde Work & Restricciones respecto del trabajo y la congregación Reiterar y reforzar las guías de seguridad para empresas, trabajadores, individuos, instituciones y actualizar si fuera necesarioSupervisar los indicadores de la salud pública, ajustar las órdenes y las restricciones según sea necesarioA medida que las regiones o los condados pasen a la fase amarilla, algunas de las restricciones en el trabajo y la interacción social disminuirán mientras que otras, como el cierre de las escuelas, los gimnasios y otros centros de recreación bajo techo, igual que las limitaciones a las grandes reuniones, permanecerán vigentes. El objetivo de esta fase es reactivar la economía mientras se vigila de cerca la información sobre la salud pública con el fin de garantizar que la propagación de la enfermedad permanezca contenida en el mayor grado posible. Rojolast_img read more

Former Trinidad Police Service Commission boss appeals his dismissal

first_img 89 Views   no discussions NewsRegional Former Trinidad Police Service Commission boss appeals his dismissal by: – December 20, 2011 Sharing is caring! Share Tweetcenter_img Share Share Nizam Mohammed insists he was not given reasonable opportunity to respond to the matters raised by the president, and had his appointment revoked several days later.PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Monday December 19, 2011 – The former chairman of the Police Service Commission who was fired in early April following controversial statements about the ethnic composition of the force has challenged the matter in court.Nizam Mohammed has filed a constitutional motion asking that the revocation of his appointment by President George Maxwell Richards be declared null and void.The former PSC boss argues that the president’s decision was due to political pressure and he did not have a chance to defend himself, according to the Trinidad Express newspaper.The Attorney General has been named as the defendant.Mohammed stated that comments concerning the ethnic composition of the top-most level of the Police Service and the Promotions Advisory Board of the Police Service should be protected by parliamentary privilege as they were made during a meeting of the Joint Select Committee appointed to consider and report to the Parliament on Service Commissions.Mohammed’s statements were denounced by the Office of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.In the suit, the former PSC chairman said both the opposition leader and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar held separate meetings with the president.Mohammed explained that he subsequently met with President Richards who notified him of letters of complaint from three of his colleagues on the commission about his chairmanship.Mohammed insists he was not given reasonable opportunity to respond to the matters raised by the president, and had his appointment revoked several days later.Caribbean 360 Newslast_img read more

US senator tells Duterte admin: Give De Lima fair, public trial

first_img“I have always stood up for the right ofjournalists to report the news in the United States and around the world and noone can force me to stop standing up for their rights,” Leahy said. President Rodrigo Duterte has tasked theBureau of Immigration to bar Leahy and his colleague Sen. Dick Durbin fromentering the country for seeking the ban of Filipino officials behind thearrest of De Lima. If ever the US pushes through with theban on Filipino officials over De Lima’s case, Malacañang said Americansplanning to visit the Philippines would be required to secure a visa. Aside from De Lima, Leahy also expressedsupport for Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, who is facing libel and tax-relatedcharges along with her company. MANILA – United States Sen. PatrickLeahy has urged the Philippine government to provide Sen. Leila de Lima a fairand public trial with regards to the illegal drug trade charges against her. In a statement on Sunday, Leahy saidthat De Lima should be released from detention with the drug charges filedagainst her “politically motivated.” A provision in the US 2020 budget on“Prohibition on Entry” allows US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to bar foreigngovernment officials from entering the US if he has “credible information” ontheir involvement in the “wrongful imprisonment” of De Lima./PNlast_img read more