Tory conference gears up to debate housing, but it’s only a fringe affair

first_imgIf any Conservative MPs make it to their annual conference in Manchester next week then they’ll find a bonanza of fringe talking shops where the nation’s housing market problems are to be discussed.Although the main stage during the conference next week is bereft of any housing debates despite several key and controversial policies due to come to fruition later this year including plans to reform leaseholds and evictions, the party’s famously lively fringe scene has at least 12 meetings scheduled.These include several key meetings on the private rented sector; its problems appear to be vexing Conservatives following the 2016 election in which the ‘broken housing market’ played a key role.And the conference includes a meeting to discuss the ‘Conservative vision for the private rented sector’ to be attended by Kevin Hollinrake, chairman of Hunters and a Conservative MP.The meetings will tackle other subjects including the housing crisis, rough sleeping and house building.Housing sector companies sponsoring fringe meetings or attending them at the conference include Barratt Developments, RICS, the RLA, the British Property Federation, Savills and the Home Builders Federation.The biggest presence at the conference is from RICS, which this year is running a mini exhibition in central Manchester and has invited new housing minister Esther McVey along to speak, along with leading members of the industry.McVey (pictured, left) is certainly making up for her lack of knowledge about the housing sector with enthusiasm; she is scheduled to attend or chair over a dozen fringe meetings next week. September 26, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Housing Market » Tory conference gears up to debate housing, but it’s only a fringe affair previous nextHousing MarketTory conference gears up to debate housing, but it’s only a fringe affairMain stage is bereft of any housing debate but over a dozen meetings outside the main hall are scheduled featuring new housing minister Esther McVey.Nigel Lewis26th September 20190464 Viewslast_img read more

Sri Lankan OPV sets sail for drills with Pakistani Navy

first_img View post tag: Sri Lanka Navy Sri Lankan offshore patrol vessel sets sail for drills with Pakistani Navy Authorities Share this article Back to overview,Home naval-today Sri Lankan offshore patrol vessel sets sail for drills with Pakistani Navy SLNS Samudura, a Sri Lanka Navy offshore patrol vessel, departed its homeport of Colombo on February 3 and headed for Pakistani waters.Samdura is headed for the Port of Karachi in Pakistan where it is expected to arrive on February 9.Once there, Samudura will join ships and personnel from 21 countries who will all be taking part in the Pakistan-hosted exercise ‘Aman’.Aman will be held from February 10 – 14 in Karachi and will encompass a variety of naval exercises and activities.The 186-strong crew of SLNS Samudura is joined on this voyage by 8 Maldivian National Defence Force personnel.center_img View post tag: SLNS Samudura February 6, 2017 View post tag: AMAN View post tag: Pakistani Navylast_img read more

Great Novels: The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James

first_imgMesmerizing and provocative, Henry James’s 1880 novel, The Portrait of a Lady, challenges us to be unmoved by its contents. It is a story about difficult choices: how to make them and how to live by them. Making these choices is Isabel Archer, James’s self-aware and self-assured heroine. Only someone as self-possessed as Isabel could read this story and not be acutely influenced by it. The story’s charming opening line might rival that of de Maurier’s Rebecca or Orwell’s 1984 for the title of “most memorable”, were the book better known: ‘Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea’. This Wildean, Brideshead-esque introduction anticipates a fairy tale conclusion. After the death of her only remaining parent, Isabel is plucked from her modest American home and brought to England by her wealthy Aunt. Isabel’s path seems paved to “happy ever after”, except that James does not write stories of this kind. The world which opens before us, following this cheerful beginning, is one of conflicts: the American vs. the European, the individual vs. society, the individual vs. himself. This is James’s territory. Opportunity after opportunity befalls Isabel. Wealth, marriage, and happiness are never beyond her reach but their cost is high. The offers she receives are all, in part, attempts to possess her. So Isabel is repeatedly faced with the same choice: should she forfeit independence for the chance to be happy or should she deny herself this opportunity to remain in control of herself? For Isabel, temptation comes in diverse forms, from the kind-natured and ailing Ralph to the deliciously mysterious and free-spirited Osmond. Suffice to say that Isabel’s yielding to temptation, when she eventually does, proves cataclysmic.   This story is not one in which much happens. The Portrait of a Lady is a psychological study, written by a man whose brother was a psychologist at a time when that science was in its early stages. Isabel travels, but the journey which the story records is primarily one of the mind. James allows us to travel parts of it with her. At times, we are held at a distance and on these occasions Isabel appears confident in her decisions. At others, we enter Isabel’s head and what we find there is struggle and turmoil. At these moments, we feel the story growing dark around us, everything fading save Isabel’s thoughts. Conditioned in this way, we do not balk at the story’s sensational moments. Rather we feel them deeply, for the story’s characters and for ourselves. Isabel is both indisputably of her time and, equally, she belongs here with us. She is an example of “the new woman”, emerging out of the Victorian quagmire and, yet, she remains a potent character still. The questions with which she is faced are timeless. Even now we might ask whether it is possible to remain an autonomous individual and, at the same time, to fulfil the desire to share our experience of the world with someone like us. Even today, for good or bad, we feel the inverse of this desire: the essential primacy of the individual and fear of opening ourselves up to others. by Ceri Jameslast_img read more

Sup. McCormick: Threats to withhold funding from schools unhelpful

first_img By Network Indiana – August 10, 2020 0 199 Sup. McCormick: Threats to withhold funding from schools unhelpful IndianaLocalNews Twitter Google+ Twitter Facebook Facebook Google+ WhatsApp Pinterest Jennifer McCormick (Photo supplied/Yorktown Community Schools) During a global pandemic, threats to withhold funding from schools are unhelpful, says Indiana School Superintendent Jennifer McCormick.“This week, our governor’s office and our general assembly came out, and there’s a little bit of squabble over reducing funding if we don’t open our doors,” McCormick said on CNN Sunday. “You have a lot of health departments put in the middle of that, and a lot local superintendents put in the middle of that. I was a local superintendent. I would not appreciate the threat of money being held over my head during a pandemic.”In addition, according to McCormick, parents are feeling increasingly unsafe about sending their children to school.“In June, when we polled, many of our districts had 20-30% of our families that said they felt unsafe, and were going to opt for the virtual option,” McCormick said. “Now, fast forward, those numbers aren’t looking good and the trends are going up — that percentage is higher.”McCormick says she believes the biggest struggle for schools is contact tracing, primarily because the process requires a lot of people to help out. As a result, McCormick admits the pandemic has been a struggle, but maintains that she and other health departments are “watching things closely.”“It is very different in some of our rural areas versus some of our urban, more populated areas,” McCormick said. “We’re watching the positivity rates, we’re watching the trends, we’re watching closely the regional activity.” Pinterest WhatsApp Previous articleMetallica drive-in movie concert set for Aug. 29Next articleBanks’ bill would make police qualified immunity a law Network Indianalast_img read more

Speech: Trade and tariffs: Brexit and beyond

first_imgThank you. And thanks to DWF and Hume Brophy for hosting us this morning.Trade policy is all about playing to your strengths – it’s called comparative advantage for a reason. So I think it’s particularly apt that we’re being hosted by a purveyor of one of our finest exports – legal services. Especially one based in Manchester.The work of the Department for International TradeAs you’ve heard, I’m the Minister for Trade Policy.In crude terms, that makes me minister for trade agreements, as well as things like trade preferences for developing countries, agreeing WTO schedules, and establishing our own independent trade remedies regime, so we can protect industry against dumping and other unfair practices.Today I’ve been asked to talk about our priorities in some of those areas.But before I start I should emphasise that my department, the Department for International Trade, has a range of other priorities: things like encouraging small businesses to export, securing foreign direct investment from firms overseas, and providing export finance.People often assume that DIT is a purely Brexit department, but this kind of bread-and-butter work is equally important and has been going on since long before the referendum: UK Export Finance is actually the world’s oldest export credit agency.What Brexit has done is give this work renewed emphasis, which is why we now have a dedicated Department for International Trade, so that all trade-related work is done under one roof, and so trade has its own voice at the Cabinet table for the first time in over 30 years.To give one example: UK Export Finance can now give support in over 60 currencies. We’ll also be launching a new Exports Strategy in the coming months.A lot of that support is about helping us export more to the EU, and I’ve made numerous trips across Europe to promote UK exporters and the UK as an investment destination.Our negotiations with the EUI think that’s an important reminder that we shouldn’t see European trade purely through the prism of Brexit negotiations – trade isn’t all about trade agreements.Nonetheless, I will touch on those negotiations.As the Prime Minister has said, the government wants a deep, comprehensive and unique free trade agreement with the EU.We want that because we value EU trade.When I talk about the opportunities that lie outside the Customs Union, people often accuse me of ignoring the opportunity right on our doorstep. But I can assure you that the government is fully cognisant of that.The EU takes two fifths of our exports; they’re a developed market of half a billion people starting 20 miles from Dover.That will always be important – it’s simply that I don’t see this as an either/or choice.As a British MP, born in New York with a German wife, I’ve always seen the choice between Britishness, globalism and Europeanism as a false trichotomy, and so it is here.By leaving the Customs Union, we will have the ability to sign new trade agreements. But I believe we will also get a good deal with the EU.By the Commission’s own estimates, trade with the UK are worth over EUR 800 Billion to the EU27. On the day we leave, we will immediately become the EU’s second-largest trading partner, only slightly behind the US, and well ahead of third-placed China. It is strongly in the EU’s interests to sign a deal.Yes, in relative terms the trading relationship is worth even more to us than it is to them. But it’s not a zero-sum game.And in technical terms this is more straightforward than most trade agreements: this will be the only trade agreement in history where the 2 sides start from a position of already being aligned.Our priorities for non-EU tradeSo I think we will get a strong, mutually-beneficial trade agreement with the EU. But what of trade agreements outside the EU – what of our priorities and our progress there?We can split this out into our overall aims, how we’re achieving those aims, and how we’re prioritising them.Our overall aim is to ensure continuity and certainty for UK businesses, by transitioning the 40 or so trade agreements the EU has in place with third countries.We will also take advantage of the great opportunities outside the Customs Union – the IMF has predicted that 90% of global growth will be outside the EU in the coming years – by agreeing new trade deals.We’re already making strong progress towards achieving these aims. Last month’s draft text on the withdrawal agreement included the ability for the UK to negotiate and sign new trade agreements during the implementation period.And although we can’t do that yet – we’re bound by the EU’s principle of sincere cooperation – we’re laying the groundwork.We’re laying the groundwork domestically. I am currently taking the Trade Bill through Parliament, which will, amongst other things, give us the power in domestic law to transition the EU’s existing third-party trade agreements.And we’re laying the groundwork with our trading partners: we have set up trade working groups with 21 countries.As for prioritising trade agreements: as you would expect, this is a holistic process; we look at things like the ease of achieving a deal and the size and compatibility of the other country’s economy.But there’s no algorithm that will tell you what to do.Our world-leading servicesAs you would expect, whoever we discuss trade with services are important.Services make up 44% of our exports. That’s equates to a higher-proportion of GDP than for any G7 country and makes us the world’s second-largest services exporter; second only to the US.And if anything that underestimates the importance of service exports: when you look at value-add – taking into account re-exports – services are worth around two-thirds.That’s led right here, by the financial, professional and business services of the City of London: a sector close to my heart, given the time I spent on trading floors here before I went into politics, and the number of my Chelsea and Fulham constituents who work here.Given our hosts, I specifically want to mention our ‘Legal Services are GREAT’ campaign, launched in October in Singapore.This is spreading the word worldwide about our legal system’s predictability, commercial adaptability and certainty; our judges’ integrity and experience; and the depth and breadth of expertise that has made to UK such an exceptional global legal hub.We want to protect our services trade as we leave the EU. But we also want to do much more. Trade in services has historically resisted liberalisation much more than trade in goods.The UK: a voice for free tradeSo trade policy post-Brexit will be about much more than individual trade deals. It will also be about Britain becoming a voice for free trade, at the World Trade Organization and other international fora.We are currently working to ensure we have our own WTO tariff schedules. We’re already a member in our own right, but we’re currently covered by the EU’s schedules, so we’ve taken the decision to replicate these for the time being, partly so business has maximum certainty.We’re already a World Trade Organization member in our own right. But not one with our own voice, as the EU speaks for all member states.The IMF estimated that we were the world’s fifth largest economy at the end of last year, and in today’s world, where there’s so many forces in favour of protectionism, it is to everyone’s benefit to have a nation of Britain’s stature making the case for free trade.last_img read more

College sophomore starts business with sister

first_imgSaint Mary’s College sophomore Giavanna Paradiso recently started a repurposed clothing business in collaboration with her older sister Chiara Paradiso, a 2018 graduate of the University of Toledo.  According to their website, the self-named “Bleach Buddies” sell fun, one of a kind, custom-made recycled clothing under the brand name Redo By 2.While the sisters design each piece with cutting-edge fashion in mind, they also keep their work loyal to the Redo By 2 mission to produce clothing that is “unique like you,” Chiara said.“I think unique clothes are so expensive these days, and if you look out there there’s not that much variety that you can choose from in a store, so we both wanted to create something unique,” she said.  “When someone has one of our shirts on, no one else in the entire world will have that exact same shirt, and that makes it unique, just like you because there is no one else in the world exactly like you.”The Paradiso sisters started by catering to the gameday needs of college students, bleaching, cropping and embellishing old t-shirts from universities around the U.S. They said they decided to appeal to their younger, more cash-strapped customers by keeping prices low.“Anything that’s not custom is under 30 bucks, and custom things are a little more expensive because Chiara hand-paints all the designs,” Giavanna said.  “We wanted to keep it affordable, and we wanted to keep it available to as many people as we could.”Outside of donations, it’s up to the sisters to stock Redo By 2 with materials.  Since starting their company, Giavanna and Chiara have traveled to consignment and re-sale shops in their home state of Ohio and all over the country. The girls are regular customers at their local Goodwill in Columbus, Ohio, where the staff knows them by name and makes sure to point out new additions to the inventory, Giavanna said.“We go all over the place. We’ve gone to Dayton, we’ve gone to Athens, we’ve gone to West Virginia, Michigan, Alabama [and] Colorado,” Chiara said. “You have to go all over and find that special diamond in the rough place. I like to get [clothes] at second hand stores because there’s a story to [them].”Giavanna said she and her sister always enjoyed repurposing clothing since it resulted in relatively cheap fashion statements that reflected their more creative sides.  Redo By 2 repurposes used clothing in the name of sustainability, and the Paradiso sisters said they wanted to keep their brand environmentally conscious by resurrecting old materials.“It’s a big problem nowadays. There are landfills filled with clothes, which don’t break down easily. We upcycle old clothes because it’s better for the environment,” Giavanna said.  “We thought we’d work with materials that were already available. Nobody was using them, so they were kind of unloved clothes. Then we make them prettier and better for everybody.”The sisters have found the learning curve of owning and running a small creative business to be challenging but rewarding, Chiara said.  In order to fulfill their shared dream of creating an upcycled fashion line, the Paradisos had to learn how to build a website, buy a domain name, maintain an inventory and accounting, obtain a vendor’s license and manage taxes.“I’m still learning some of this,” Chiara said. “That’s one thing I really like about [running a business] is that every single day is different. You are constantly learning and challenging yourself.”The Bleach Buddies also made discoveries about the chemistry of their namesake chemical product, witnessing varying results with different fabrics. Giavanna said the bleach ate through the denim on more than one occasion.“There’s a lot of trial and error when it comes to the stuff that we do,” she said. “We’ve lost a lot of pieces along the way.”Redo By 2 has grown beyond the two sisters, with the entire Paradiso family contributing to both the creative and business sides of the business.  Their younger sister Vinni, a high school sophomore, has even stepped in to run the Redo By 2 Instagram.  Friends and others have also helped expand the clothing line, volunteering to model pieces and promote the brand on social media.“I am so lucky to have my family involved in supporting Giavanna and I 100 percent,” Chiara said.  “Even when I didn’t have faith in myself, my family and friends always did. I can’t thank them enough for that.”In the future, Chiara and Giavanna said they would love to give Redo By 2 a physical home with a store in the Short North Arts District of Columbus, Ohio.  No matter how big their business grows, the pair said they’ll never forget how it all started.“One day at church I listened to a visiting holy sister who said that we can’t stop doing what we want to do because we might think it’s too big,” Chiara said.  “I came home from church and I said, ‘G, I want to go full in with you. Let’s make this happen.’”Tags: redoby2last_img read more

04 Five quick steps

first_imgVolume XXXIINumber 1Page 4 Jule-Lynne Macie, the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension coordinator in Rockdale County, offers five winning tips on keeping insects under control in your garden.1. Check your plants often. “You can’t just stand on your back porch with a cup of coffee and stare out at your garden,” Macie said. “Touch the plants and turn the leaves over.” Insect population growth can be so fast that you may not see them on one Saturday and they’ve taken over your plants on the next.2. Know how to care for each plant. “People try to do one thing and think it’s good for everything,” she said. It may not be, so learn what each particular plant needs.3. Don’t plant plants that are known to have pest problems. “If you do plant one of those,” she said, “make sure you take the time to take care of that insect, which can be a full-time project. Any time an insect is named after a plant, it’s not a good sign.”4. Mulch your plants. “This helps prevent competition so the plant can be healthier,” she said. “Use 3 to 4 inches of pine straw or nuggets around your plants. The larger the mulched area, the better.”5. Plant for your zone. “Blue spruce doesn’t grow down here because it’s too hot,” she said. Georgia’s plant hardiness zones range from a cool 6b in Young Harris to a sweltering 8b in Thomasville. Don’t expect plants that aren’t hardy in your zone to grow there just because you like them.These steps will help keep your plants healthier, Macie said, so they can help you quell potential insect problems.If you don’t know what plant hardiness zone you live in or have other gardening questions, call your county UGA Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1.(Stephanie Schupska is a news editor for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.) By Stephanie SchupskaUniversity of GeorgiaWhether you’re a complete newbie or a seasoned pro in the garden, insect problems can still ruin your whole day. But you don’t have to just wait for the worst to happen.last_img read more

Wheels and Waterfalls: Mountain Biking DuPont State Forest

first_imgTransylvania County in North Carolina is not home to any of Vlad Dracula’s ruthless ancestors. Transylvania’s Latin root actually means “exceedingly forested.” With 100,000 acres of public land, 400 miles of pristine singletrack, and more than 1,000 miles of gravel Forest Service roads, Transylvania offers endless biking opportunities. It also offers something equally treasured: more than 250 waterfalls.DuPont State Forest is one of three forest parks that constitute those 100,000 acres of public land in Transylvania County, and although nearby Pisgah National Forest has long been recognized as Transylvania’s go-to for mountain biking, DuPont is quickly building its own reputation as a two-wheel destination. Both younger and smaller than Pisgah, DuPont is home to over 90 miles of interweaving singletrack and six impressive waterfalls. If you are unfamiliar with the forest, you have more than likely seen its cascades on the big screen in The Hunger Games and Last of the Mohicans.Transylvania’s long history of recreation in and around its waterfalls predates the Civil War, but only 13 years ago the iconic sites of DuPont were once in jeopardy of being lost altogether to development. How the did Transylvania community rescue its oasis of waterfalls and singletrack?Fourscore and 370 million years agoDuPont’s waterfalls formed approximately 450 million years ago, when an island chain crashed into the North American continent near Dillsboro, N.C., and caused the first of three upheavals that would dramatically alter Transylvania’s landscape. According to Dr. James Reynolds, a geology professor at Brevard College, the islands slid to a stop near present-day DuPont where Brevard, the county seat, is located.Millions of years later, a second collision occurred when another island chain hit North America farther south. While these preliminary crashes were instrumental in creating Transylvania’s mountainous terrain, it wasn’t until the continent of Africa collided with North America that the modern Blue Ridge Mountain range was formed.“The rivers and their watershed were here long before the mountains,” says Reynolds. “At one time, these mountains were taller than the Himalayas. The rivers cut down the mountains.”Because of Africa’s collision, the rivers in western North Carolina tend to run westward through the mountains instead of emptying into the ocean to the east.“There are all sorts of fractures and minor faults throughout the mountains,” Reynolds continues. “The rivers are exploiting those zones of weakness, which is why we have all these waterfalls.”Despite the Brevard Fault’s extensive geographical coverage, it has shown no problematic seismic activity for hundreds of years. Reynolds says High Falls in DuPont State Forest has the most abundant evidence that its waters are surging over an inactive fault. These faults can be recognized by the various bits of ground particles that are embedded in the primarily gneiss rock that constitutes the area east of the Brevard Fault.“Save the falls for the people.”In the early 1920s, the area encompassing present-day DuPont State Forest was known as Buck Forest and bustled with well-to-do members of its namesake, the Buck Forest Club. The men and their families explored the lush forests and plentiful waterways for hunting, fishing and elaborate picnics.Then DuPont Corporation purchased Buck Forest in 1956, to begin a silicon crystal plant. When the market changed and the necessity of silicon waned, DuPont switched to producing sensitive X-ray films and became the first factory in the country to make it on polyester film.DuPont sold the majority of its property to the state in 1997.  The state initially bought only 7,600 acres from DuPont Corporation. The heart of the forest, though, a tract of land over 2,200 acres in size and housing three of the region’s most spectacular waterfalls, was sold to a Houston-based investment firm, who in turn sold it to South Carolina developer Jim Anthony. Anthony initially claimed that the waterfalls would remain untouched, but when he announced his intentions to build a gated community of expensive homes centered on the falls, the locals were furious.“The falls had friends, then and now,” says Mac Morrow, a Brevard city councilman. “They didn’t want to see that part of the land in private hands because it would have denied public access to the more distinctive and unique parts of Transylvania County.”Aleen Steinberg was one of those concerned citizens. In 2000, she helped establish Friends of the Falls (which later became Friends of DuPont Forest). Friends of the Falls fought to save the falls from development.“Our members were hikers, bikers, and equestrians,” Steinberg says. “We worked together so beautifully to acquire this land because there was such a unity in our purpose. We set aside any differences, and that’s the only reason we have DuPont today.”After months of heated debates, the state of North Carolina exercised its power of eminent domain to force Anthony to accept $24 million in exchange for the preservation of the waterfalls.“We fought and we won,” says Steinberg. To thank Steinberg for her perseverance and dedication, the community named the newly opened DuPont State Forest visitor’s center in her name.A young forest grows upThe volunteers who helped save the falls also helped build and maintain the trails which, in only a few years, attracted national attention. Outdoor magazines and biking web sites quickly hailed DuPont as one of the sweetest spots in the South for two-wheeled adventure. Bike Magazine called it “ground zero for some of the best riding in the nation.”DuPont drew over 350,000 visitors last year alone. The waterfalls are the main attraction, and most are easily accessible by a short hike.  But there are plenty of less visited waterfalls enjoyed only by bikers and adventurists going deep into the singletrack system.Sam Salman at The Hub and Backcountry Outdoors, along with Dan Ennis with Sycamore Cycles, recommend three loop rides in DuPont that highlight some of the best waterfalls. For novice, intermediate and advanced riders alike, there is a trail for everyone when mountain biking DuPont.DuPont’s trail systems provide an endless supply of loop variations, so go with the flow. If you need to bail, Conservation Road (north-south) and Buck Forest Road (east-west) are well-traveled Forest Service roads that connect much of DuPont State Forest and the surrounding parking lots.BEGINNER LOOPNew to the biking scene? Taking a friend or family member out who’s never hit the trails before? Try this short loop, which takes you to Grassy Creek Falls, one of the smaller sights in DuPont but no less picturesque.Distance: 7.4 milesTime: 1 – 1½ hoursType: Forest Service roads, doubletrack and smooth singletrackMile / Directions0.0 – Park at Lake Imaging parking lot0.1 – Take Lake Imaging Road1.0 – Turn right onto Hilltop Trail2.0 – At the bottom of Hilltop, follow signs for Grassy Creek Falls*2.1 – Take a left onto Lake Imaging Road2.6 – Turn right onto Locust Trail3.0 – Turn left onto Isaac Heath Trail3.3 – Turn right onto Jim Branch Trail3.4 – Turn left onto Buck Forest Road4.5 – Turn left onto White Pine Road4.8 – Turn left onto Hooker Creek Trail5.9 – Turn left onto Ridgeline Trail7.4 – Arrive back at Lake Imaging parking lot*Grassy Creek Falls is a great place to stop and take a break. Jump in the pool below the falls for a refreshing mid-ride dip!INTERMEDIATE LOOPThis ride offers moderately skilled bikers everything from downhill plunges to stiff climbs and creek crossings. It also highlights up to four waterfalls if you take the optional hike: Wintergreen Falls, Grassy Creek Falls, High Falls, and Triple Falls. This 17-mile-loop is a great option for getting in a post-work ride before the sun goes down.Distance: 17.6 milesTime: 2 – 3 hoursType: 75% singletrack, 25% gravelMile / Directions0.0 – Park at High Falls parking lot0.1 – Take Buck Forest Road0.7 – Turn right onto Conservation Road0.8 – Turn left onto Pitch Pine Trail1.9 – Turn left onto Three Lakes Trail2.7 – Turn left onto Conservation Road3.7 – Merge left onto Shortcut Trail4.0 – Stay straight onto Conservation Road4.5 – Turn left onto Reasonover Creek Trail5.5 – Turn right onto Turkey Knob Road7.1 – Just past the Poplar Hill Loop on the left is a new singletrack section of Turkey Knob Road; stay right7.5 – Turn right onto Briery Fork Trail8.3 – Stay straight and merge onto Grassy Creek Trail9.3 – Turn right onto Sandy Trail9.4 – Turn right onto Wintergreen Falls Trail*9.5 – Return to Wintergreen Falls Trail but keep right10 – Turn right onto Tarklin Branch Road11 – Bear left off Tarklin Branch Road to cross through parking lot11.1 – Pick up Buck Forest Road11.2 – Turn right onto Hickory Mountain Road12.1 – Turn left onto Ridgeline Trail13.6 – Turn left onto Lake Imaging Road13.8 – Turn left onto Jim Branch Trail14.1 – Turn right onto Isaac Heath Trail14.4 – Turn right onto Locust Trail14.8 – Stay straight onto Hilltop Trail15.8 – Turn right onto Grassy Creek Falls Trail*15.9 – After visiting the falls, follow Grassy Creek Falls Trail up toward Lake Imaging Road16.0 – Turn right onto Lake Imaging Road16.1 – Turn right onto Buck Forest Road17.6 – Arrive at High Falls parking lot (the covered bridge means you’re close).*Both Wintergreen Falls and Grassy Creek Falls offer riders a chance to get their feet wet. In case you decided to opt out of the mid-ride splash, stow your gear after the ride and hike the two-mile trail to see High Falls and Triple Falls.ADVANCED LOOPGet ready to get wet. You’ll cross the Little River and visit Bridal Veil Falls, Wintergreen Falls, and Grassy Creek Falls and through some of the most technical singletrack in DuPont.Distance: 32.2 milesTime: 4 – 6 hoursType: 75% singletrack, 25% gravelMile / Directions0.0 – Park at Corn Mill Shoals parking lot0.1 – Cross Cascade Lake Road and pick up the Corn Mill Shoals Trail1.1 – Take 2nd right onto Burnt Mountain Trail (riding loop in clockwise direction)3.3 – Turn right onto Corn Mill Shoals Trail, but pick up the Little River Trail on the left almost immediately4.5 – Take 2nd left onto Cedar Rock Trail (you’ll see power lines)5.3 – Turn right onto Big Rock Trail6.1 – Turn left onto Corn Mill Shoals Trail7.2 – Cross the Little River via the Corn Mill Shoals Trail7.3 – Turn right onto Shoals Trail7.8 – Turn right onto Laurel Ridge Trail8.5 – Turn left onto Mine Mountain Trail8.7 – Merge left onto Fawn Lake Road8.8 – Turn left onto Conservation Road9.1 – Turn left onto Airstrip Trail9.4 – Merge left onto Airstrip Trail10.0 – Turn left onto Shelter Rock Trail10.2 – Turn right onto Corn Mill Shoals Trail10.6 – Turn left onto Bridal Veil Falls Road to visit the waterfall*10.7 – Return back to Bridal Veil Falls Road11.3 – Turn right onto Conservation Road11.5 – Turn left onto Lake Julia Road11.9 – Turn right onto Reasonover Creek Trail14.6 – Turn left onto Turkey Knob Road15.2 – Just past the Poplar Hill Loop on the left is a new singletrack section of Turkey Knob Road; stay right15.6 – Turn right onto Briery Fork Trail16.4 – Stay straight and merge onto Grassy Creek Trail17.4 – Turn right onto Sandy Trail17.5 – Turn right onto Wintergreen Falls Trail*17.6 – Return to Wintergreen Falls Trail but keep right18.1 – Turn right onto Tarklin Branch Road19.1 – Bear left off Tarklin Branch Road to cross through parking lot19.2 – Pick up Buck Forest Road19.3 – Turn right onto Hickory Mountain Road20.2 – Turn left onto Ridgeline Trail21.7 – Turn left onto Lake Imaging Road21.9 – Turn left onto Jim Branch Trail22.2 – Turn right onto Isaac Heath Trail22.5 – Turn right onto Locust Trail22.9 – Stay straight onto Hilltop Trail23.9 – Turn right onto Grassy Creek Falls Trail*24.0 – After visiting the falls, follow Grassy Creek Falls Trail up toward Lake Imaging Road24.1 – Turn right onto Lake Imaging Road24.2 – Turn right onto Buck Forest Road25.7 – Arrive at High Falls parking lot; turn right out of lot onto Staton Road25.75 – In ~50yds turn left onto Sheep Mountain Trail27.1 – Turn right onto Cascade Trail28.1 – Turn left onto Pine Tree Trail28.9 – Turn right onto Longside Trail29.6 – Turn right onto Twixt Trail30.0 – Cross over Cascade Lake Road and pick up Rock Quarry Road30.7 – Turn left onto Buck Ridge Road31.3 – Turn left onto Micajah Trail31.8 – Turn right onto Wilkie Trail32.2 – Arrive at Corn Mill Shoals parking lot* Bridal Veil Falls, Wintergreen Falls and Grassy Creek Falls are all swimmer-friendly (so long as you remain below the falls).POST-RIDE HANG OUTSGrub – THE SQUARE ROOTLocated in downtown Brevard, The Square Root serves everything from homemade veggie burgers to lobster macaroni. squarerootrestaurant.comBeer – THE HUB AND PISGAH TAVERNGrab a locally made brewski and check out the gear at The Hub, conveniently located in Pisgah Forest, N.C. If you need to rent a bike or get a trail recommendation, these guys can hook you up. thehubpisgah.comSweets – KIWI GELATOEspecially in the summertime, nothing beats ice cream…except Kiwi Gelato’s handcrafted gelato. With more flavor, less sugar and fewer calories and fat, gelato is the perfect alternative to ice cream. Kiwi Gelato makes its goods on the premises everyday, ensuring that the gelato is always fresh and delicious. kiwigelato.comIN YOUR NECK OF THE WOODSThe rolling hills of the Blue Ridge afford other bike-to-waterfall rides beyond the infamous Land of Waterfalls. Check out these eight rides that are great for bikers and waterfall junkies alike.SWALLOW FALLS TRAILOakland, Md.Length: 9 milesType: Logging road/singletrack: loopDifficulty: IntermediateDescription: Be on the lookout for the fluorescent green blazes that take you through the hardwood forests, hemlocks, and rhododendron of Garrett State Forest. The trail is relatively benign with the exception of some slippery roots and endurance-testing climbs on Snaggy Mountain Road.HIGH FALLSGrady, W.Va.Length: 11.9 milesType: Old railgrade, out-and-backDifficulty: Beginner/IntermediateDescription: The trail to High Falls is not one to miss, whether you’re a newbie or an expert. The falls themselves are located on the Cheat River, said to be the East Coast’s mini-Niagara, and the area is steeped in history and remote canyons.BLUE SUCK FALLSMillboro, Va.Length: 4.5 milesType: Singletrack: loopDifficulty: Intermediate/AdvancedDescription: This semi-technical singletrack offers everything from steep climbs, raging downhills, waterfall dips and mountain lake scenery. Located 40 miles southwest of Lexington in Douthat State Park, this loop is easily accessible and multi-lap-friendly.GUEST RIVER TRAILCoeburn, Va.Length: 10 milesType: Rail-trail: out-and-backDifficulty: BeginnerDescription: The Guest River Gorge Trail provides an enjoyable and scenic option for families looking to get the kids out on bicycles. High rock bluffs, smaller (but no less gorgeous) waterfalls and hardwood forests make this remote trail a must-do during any vacation.BENTON FALLS TRAILOcoee, Tenn.Length: 3 milesType: Singletrack: loopDifficulty: Beginner/IntermediateDescription: This short loop through the Cherokee National Forest not only provides a great ride and a superb waterfall dipping, but it is also home to a wide assortment of wildlife. With virtually unnoticed elevation gain, this ride is a perfect start for beginners or an easy cruise for intermediate riders.SUGAR CAMP HOLLOWSavannah, Tenn.Length: 4.3 milesType: Singletrack/dirt road: loopDifficulty: IntermediateDescription: This ride features not only two scenic waterfalls but also a wetlands reserve area, which hosts rare varieties of wildflowers and a number of beavers. Be sure to check in with the landowner before riding to gain access to the trail.MOUNTAINTOWN CREEK TRAIL Ellijay, Ga.Length: 22.8 milesType: Singletrack/Forest Service roads: loopDifficulty: AdvancedDescription: If you’re looking for a remote trail with water crossings, steep climbs and even steeper rides down, this one’s for you. Mid-ride, be sure to hop off your bike and take a dip in the Mountaintown Creek or Bear Creek falls.STONEWALL FALLS LOOPClayton, Ga.Length: 11 milesType: Singletrack: loopDifficulty: IntermediateDescription: This recently improved loop now offers bikers a challenging trail that has optional exits and is somewhat technical, but definitely scenic. Whether you hop in the pool below the falls or not, be prepared to get wet; this trail requires four stream crossings.last_img read more

LIVE OUTSIDE AND PLAY TRIP REPORT: THREE 14ERS IN THREE DAYS

first_imgWe suggest setting up basecamp along North Halfmoon Creek Road just west of Leadville, Colorado. This Forest Service road offers abundant boondocking along Halfmoon Creek. If you fish, this is definitely your spot. With the recent heat, this area offers shade and a cool place to dip your feet after a long day on the trail. It’s been HOT here in Colorado, and we’ve spent most of our time running for higher elevation (except for when we decided to brave the triple degree heat in the Utah desert). Recently, we found ourselves with three “blank” days in a row leading up to the Colorado Vanlife Gathering in Basalt. In true Live Outside and Play fashion, instead of relaxing in the shade we decided it was time to test our legs and our lungs and do back-to-back-to-back 14ers. We even had some friends all the way from Blue Ridge Outdoors territory join up with us for Mt. Elbert. Once we returned to the van, we ate a quick snack and headed for our next destination. We had planned on parking at the main La Plata Peak Trailhead right off of Independence Pass and sleeping there for the night. It’s not the most secluded spot but we wanted to get an early start thinking this mountain would take us the longest with tired legs. When we arrived at the trailhead that evening, there was an active search and rescue operation happening in the parking lot and we decided to leave. We found a nice van spot along the river just down the pass from the La Plata Gulch Trailhead. We made dinner and passed out to a beautiful sunset. That night, we camped in the same spot. We were joined by our out of town friends and enjoyed some fishing and a campfire before we all called it a night and the sun went down. Our plan was to eat breakfast and then break camp and head for the main Mt Elbert Trailhead. We did so around 5:30 am and were surprised to find the parking lot almost full. Confirmed, this is a popular hike. In stark contrast to the previous day’s summit, this trail was packed with people in large guided groups. There was even a production team shooting a beer commercial with a large drone throughout most of the day. We didn’t mind the crowds. That’s the type of thing you come to expect on Colorado’s popular 14ers. Despite this being considered a “walk-up” mountain, it still challenged our legs and our lungs. We decided on three 14ers (mountains over 14,000 feet) in the Sawatch Range. Mt Elbert a popular choice and the highest peak in Colorado, Mt Massive another popular choice and the second-highest peak in Colorado, and La Plata Peak, a somewhat lesser-traveled mountain just south of Massive and Elbert. It’s been quite the summer. As we sit here writing this blog we can’t help but feel like it’s getting away from us a little bit. Our calendar is filling up with work obligations, weddings, and family time. We think it’s important to leave some blank spots on the calendar. Just enough room for a few spontaneous trips to the mountains to do whatever we feel like. The truth is, even the “blank spots” on our calendar are filled up with work in one form or another. We took a short break from it all to hike to the highest point in the state. The whole trip worked out really well and we thought it would be nice to write up a trip report/how-to for those who want to make the most of a long weekend and summit some of the tallest mountains in Colorado. We decided to drive as far down this road toward the North Halfmoon Creek Trailhead as possible. Most maps have this road turning into a high clearance 4×4 road after the main Mt Massive Trail Head. The plan was to hike from North Halfmoon Trailhead because the Southwest Slope is considered more challenging than the traditional route and we figured it would be best to dodge the crowds while shaving off some distance. We were able to pilot the van within 0.3 miles of the trailhead before the road became too rough and we settled on a wonderful camp spot on the creek. We were correct in thinking we’d dodge the crowds, as we only passed one single human all day long. We started at 5:30 am to avoid afternoon storms. This was plenty of time to get below treeline before noon. A word of caution here: this route was STEEP. Like… really steep. The descent was a knee breaker. There are definitely more hard-core ways to spend three days in Colorado. We chose these three mountains partially because they fit into our final plan of getting to Basalt, but also because the routes we chose were considered class two at most. This is a great way for anyone who wants to see the high country in a short period of time. To our surprise, the next morning the search and rescue operation was still in full swing. The trail was open so we decided to hike but the SAR helicopter circled the peak for several hours and cast an ominous feeling over us as we ascended out of the valley. We chose the standard route for La Plata in part because the other routes were stilled snowed in, but also because we were driving right past the trailhead on the way to Basalt. La Plata might have been our least favorite of the three mountains. Probably because our legs were tired, the helicopter was circling, and the last 1.5 miles of the standard route is loose and hot. At the end of the day, we made it. Tired and hungry we slogged back to the van excited for snacks and cold water. There is one way for this tour to be a reality– our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to all of our awesome sponsors that make this tour happen: Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Leki, Big Agnes, Stio, Roofnest, and Franklin County, VA. For more info on our sponsors, check out the post, “Live Outside and Play is Back!”last_img read more

Empower younger members during COVID-19 with Biz Kid$

first_imgMany of your members (and even staff) are facing uncharted waters when it comes to providing education at home for their kids during the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly becoming home-school teachers was not on the radar for most Americans, and it can be daunting to try and plan out ways to educate and entertain kids at home.The Foundation wants to help! Biz Kid$ is a youth education program fully funded (and branded) by America’s credit unions and teaches kids about money management and entrepreneurship. Made from the same producers as Bill Nye the Science Guy, Biz Kid$ teaches kids about money in the same fun, goofy, up-beat manor as Bill Nye taught kids about science.But it is SO much more than just a TV show. Not only is Biz Kid$ an Emmy-award winning TV series for kids ages 9-16, but it includes a website with free activities and lesson plans that go along with each episode and provides interactive games (perfect for younger kids) to keep kids engaged with the content.As the national champion for Biz Kid$, we wanted to help the credit union movement share these resources with staff and members. We have created a Biz Kid$ community/group that we hope you can join or share.Here’s what we’ll be sharing in the Biz Kid$ group:Weekly themes such as credit & debt, financial planning, entrepreneurship and more.Episodes that pair with those themes (Seasons 1-3 available through Amazon Prime).Accompanying activities and lesson plans for each of those episodes.A common place for dialogue, sharing ideas and best practices for users.What better time to reinforce or introduce the importance of personal finance to kids than now? Our hope is we can make your staff and members lives a little easier by providing a one-stop-shop for educational learning resources during this extra time at home.We hope you’ll engage in our group and aid in empowering the next generation to care about their financial futures! 86SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Lacey Yasick Lacey is the Communications Manager for the National Credit Union Foundation. She works to develop and execute all communication efforts that support the Foundation’s national programs and engagement strategy.Lacey … Web: www.ncuf.coop Detailslast_img read more