Tim Pigott-Smith to Reprise His Role in King Charles III Screen Adaptation

first_img God save the King! Hot on the heels of the well-received Netflix series The Crown, Tim Pigott-Smith, who was Tony-nominated for his performance in King Charles III, will reprise his portrayal of the titular character in the previously announced TV adaptation of the Tony-nominated play. Deadline reports that shooting is set to begin this month on the 90-minute BBC/Masterpiece drama, which is scheduled to air in 2017.Rupert Goold will once again direct; the show’s playwright, Mike Bartlett, has adapted his work for the screen. Also returning to their roles will be Oliver Chris as William, Richard Goulding as Harry and Margot Leicester as Camilla. Peaky Blinders’ Charlotte Riley has been tapped to play Kate Middleton (replacing Lydia Wilson); Priyanga Burford and Tamara Lawrance have also joined the cast.In the future history play, the Queen is dead, and after a lifetime of waiting, Prince Charles ascends the throne. The controversial play explores the people underneath the crowns, the unwritten rules of our democracy and the conscience of Britain’s most famous family.The show had a successful run at London’s Almeida Theatre in the spring of 2014 before transferring to the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre and Broadway’s Music Box Theatre. View Comments Tim Pigott-Smith in ‘King Charles III'(Photo: Johan Persson)last_img read more

Colorado co-op could save big by buying more renewables

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Denver Post:Tri-State, a Westminster-based electric power cooperative whose members have pushed for more use of renewable energy sources, could save more than $600 million through 2030 if it did just that, a new report says.Declining costs of wind and solar power give Tri-State Generation and Transmission an opportunity to cut costs for its members and blunt the expense of reducing emissions from coal-fired power plants, according to the study released Thursday by the Rocky Mountain Institute, an independent think tank and research organization that focuses on ways to make the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.Tri-State, which supplies electricity to associations in New Mexico, Nebraska and Wyoming, gets about half of its power from coal-fired plants. The Rocky Mountain Institute’s report says only one of the five coal-fired plants used by Tri-State and studied by the institute is more economical than the current costs of wind and solar power.Tri-State’s production costs are generally higher than bids for wind — $11 to $18 per megawatt hour — and comparable to solar bids — $23 to $27 per megawatt hour, according to the report. Mark Dyson, a principal at the institute and a co-author of “A Low-Cost Energy Future for Western Cooperatives.”, said the figures factor in transmission expenses.“Even if they don’t shut down coal plants, they can still save money by not running coal-fired facilities as much and just buying renewables in this region,” Dyson said.The Durango-based La Plata Electric Association is one of Tri-State’s members that wants to see less coal and more renewable energy in the mix. “What we’re seeing at La Plata is that the prices of renewables are declining. We want to see more of a renewable mix in the energy supply,” said Mike Dreyspring, the association’s CEO. “It’s as much about the economics as anything.”More: Tri-State could save $600 million by boosting renewable energy use, report says Colorado co-op could save big by buying more renewableslast_img read more

The Forgotten River: Rescuing the Anacostia River in D.C.

first_imgJorge Bogantes Montero has just led us a short distance into Pope Branch Park, a tiny splotch of forest sheltering a tributary that feeds the Anacostia River, which slices through the nation’s capital and is arguably one of America’s 10 most polluted urban waterways. Although the forest looked and sounded healthy—crickets sang, the nearby creek burbled—mostly what we saw was ivy. It blanketed the vegetation, the ground, everything, weakening tree bark, out-competing native plants for sunlight, and ultimately degrading the ecosystem upon which the river depends. It had to go, and this group of hardy volunteers was teaming up to make a small dent. I admired their pluck but, gazing at the sea of green, did not envy their enormous task.Like many urban rivers, the vast, 176-square-mile Anacostia River Watershed has been hammered by human encroachment. But the so-called “forgotten river” is suffering more than most, and its prodigious filth has become something of a legend in the D.C. area. The man-made insults include wholesale colonization by numerous invasive species, rampant stormwater runoff funneled by thousands of acres of concrete and asphalt, toxic chemicals disgorged by farms and factories, trash carelessly tossed, trees shorn from now-eroding riverbanks, wetlands drained and shriveled, and raw human waste leaked from decrepit sewage systems.It didn’t have to be this way. The formerly untouched watershed, which feeds the iconic Potomac River and encompasses most of the eastern half of the District of Columbia and large parts of two adjacent Maryland counties, has a tragic history. The once-pristine, fish-filled Anacostia helped sustain the Nanchotank Indians until the early 17th century when Europeans arrived and began decimating the area’s dense forests to make way for tobacco and other cash crops. Since then, the river has slowly succumbed to creeping urbanization and everything that goes with it, resulting in a degraded watershed that reflects its former glory like a shattered mirror reflects a beauty contestant.Hamid Karimi, deputy director of the District Department of the Environment (DDOE), wants to change that. He spearheads the District’s part in the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership (AWRP), an unprecedented, multi-jurisdictional, all-hands-on-deck effort to make the watershed fishable and swimmable again. The partnership has its roots in a 1987 agreement among various local, state, and federal agencies. The resulting Anacostia Watershed Restoration Committee set some pollution-reduction targets, but many of them were missed. By 2006, everyone knew that a more comprehensive approach was needed.Thus the AWRP was born. Its goals, which are nothing if not ambitious, include cutting pollutants of all sorts, revitalizing fish populations, restoring wetlands, increasing biodiversity, reforesting denuded slopes, and—perhaps most important—helping the locals understand their part in all of this.Karimi’s immediate objective is more modest: he just wants to take his children canoeing on the river without them contracting some exotic disease.“If my kids fall in, I don’t want to worry about their health,” he said. “What fun is that?”Such worries are understandable. One look at the trash-laden water, one whiff of the fetid stench emanating therefrom, and it’s easy to write off the entire area as a no-go zone. You might as well tell little Johnny to play on the train tracks.But this ugly facade disguises hidden potential. For all of its flaws, the river is home to a surprising variety of wildlife, including bald eagles, great blue herons, red foxes, and even a few hardy fish.“It’s still a major resource, but it could be used a lot more if it were protected and promoted,” Karimi said. “In the past, the river has been perceived as a liability. We are trying to develop it into an asset.” The issue is how to accomplish this when so many government entities have a vested interest in the outcome. After all, there’s no point in the District cleaning up its part of the river if the feds ignore theirs just upstream. It has to be a collective effort. But that’s easier said than done in an age of warring government fiefdoms.This explains Karimi’s excitement about the AWRP, which to his knowledge is the only watershed restoration plan in the country that encompasses so many local, state, and federal agencies. Progress since the group’s formation has been spotty but real.For example, stormwater runoff is the largest source of diffuse pollution fouling the river. To help curtail the flow, the District has installed more “green roofs” on its buildings in the past two years than any other North American city. Unlike regular roofs, the green variety features grasses and other plants that soak up rainwater, which otherwise would bounce off and wash all manner of street crud right into the Anacostia. Another prong of the District’s stormwater management plan is aimed at new developments and substantial redevelopments; these are now required to capture a large majority of the runoff from their properties before it can enter the watershed.Karimi cites other signs of improvement too, including the District’s five cent charge for plastic bags in retail stores (also implemented by the state of Maryland), which has been credited with eliminating about 50 percent of the bags that end up in the river; passive trash facilities that sweep detritus from flowing water; combined sewer tunnels that help contain overflow; reinforced riverbanks; and measurable progress in restoring many of the river’s 13 major tributaries, including Pope Branch.Perhaps as a sign of such progress, the river is now part of the Captain John Smith water trail system. Established in 2006 as the nation’s first all-water national historic trail, it covers some 3,000 miles throughout the greater Chesapeake Bay watershed and more or less traces routes the colonial-era icon took from 1607 to 1609.Given what has been accomplished so far, Karimi said he is cautiously optimistic about the future.“Although the Anacostia has a lot of issues and there is much more to be done, it’s still beautiful, even now,” he said.last_img read more

Celebrating the National Parks: The Parks Less Travelled

first_imgShenandoah, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Blue Ridge Parkway are three of the country’s most popular national parks, with a combined total of more than 30 million visitors annually.But there are over 50 other national park units across the South. Some are official but lesser-known national parks like Congaree and Mammoth Cave. Others are managed by the National Park Service but have slightly different designations, including national monuments, national seashores, and national battlefields. Even the White House and Pennsylvania Avenue are part of the national park system.So what distinguishes areas worthy of inclusion? Beyond the importance of their environmental assets, national park designations first and foremost provide visitors with “windows on the past,” be it through the home of Franklin D. Roosevelt or the rapids of the New River Gorge. Check out 10 of our less-heralded, often-overlooked national park units and adventures in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, then go outside and celebrate the #nps100!National Rivers and Wild and Scenic Riverways preserve ribbons of land bordering free-flowing streams which have not been dammed, channelized, or otherwise altered.Big South Fork National River and Recreation AreaTennessee and KentuckyClear blue waters, raging class IV+ rapids, countless waterfalls and swimming holes tucked behind bands of sandstone bluffs. This national river and recreation area is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts of all varieties. Its protected lands, cliffs, and waters expand for 125,000 acres across the Cumberland Plateau. The rugged geography is home to natural stone arches, caves, and ancient dwellings.Play: The Big South Fork gorge plunges 500 feet to where it meets the river, which means steep terrain and technical whitewater. The park offers 180 miles of trails for hikers and trail runners, 35 miles for mountain bikers, and nearly 200 miles for equestrians. The trails are canine-friendly, and the mountain bike access is expected to expand in the coming years.And for paddlers of all abilities, the vast watershed of the Big South Fork of the Cumberland provides flatwater and whitewater trips alike. Make an overnighter out of your flatwater float, or experience the sheer cliff walls and class IV+ rapids of the gorge in a day. Many tributaries like Pine Creek and North White Oak are steep and technical and attract the attention of the region’s best paddlers.Stay: Need amenities? We don’t blame you. Bandy Creek on the Tennessee side and Blue Heron in Kentucky are developed campgrounds that provide easy access to the park. Backcountry camping is allowed throughout Big South Fork, but a permit and minimal fee is required.Get There: Just under an hour-and-a-half from Knoxville, Tenn., the park is located off TN-297 W, but do your homework ahead of time—cell service can be spotty in these parts and GPS directions are unreliable. The closest town to Big South Fork is Oneida, Tenn.Obed Wild and Scenic RiverTennesseeLegend has it that the Obed River was named after the longhunter Obediah Terril, who explored the Cumberland Plateau in the late 18th century. The present-day protected lands once hosted the Catoosa Railroad, where small communities thrived. Yet after two devastating floods in 1929 and again in 1940, Mother Nature reclaimed what was rightfully hers.For decades, the land remained practically untouched except for the seldom few who dared to venture into the Obed’s remote watershed. But when the Tennessee Valley authority announced plans to construct a dam on the Obed, the locals pushed back. Bill and Lee Russell, who jointly formed the grassroots advocacy group Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning (TCWP), led the charge. Their cause gained momentum, enough so that in 1976 the National Park Service designated the Obed a Wild and Scenic River.Play: The Obed’s sandstone cliff bands hide some of the best sport climbing in the Southeast. With over 350 developed sport routes speckled throughout the area, a developing boulder scene, and mild weather year-round, climbers can expect relative solitude at the crags on even the sunniest of weekends. The climbing here is steep, sometimes scaling more than 120 feet in a single pitch and with horizontal roofs, jugs, and slopers galore.For whitewater enthusiasts, paddling the Obed River is a must. Combined with the Emory watershed, there are over 100 miles of river that wait. From flatwater to the class II-IV Obed Canyon, boaters will be rewarded with a scenic and pristine experience in a river that has remained largely unchanged throughout the centuries.Stay: Affordable, authentic, and dog friendly. Doesn’t get much better than Del and Marte Scruggs’ Lilly Pad, where the hosts are welcoming, the beers are cold (and brewed in-house), and the campfire is always stoked. Free backcountry camping permits are available online or at the Obed Visitor Center for those who want to rough it, while the nearby Rock Creek Campground provides primitive toilets and grills, but no running water.Get There: About 45 minutes northwest of Knoxville, the Obed is most easily accessed by way of TN-62, which cuts through the town of Lancing.National Seashores focus on the preservation of natural values while at the same time providing water-oriented recreation.Cape Lookout National SeashoreNorth CarolinaOften overlooked by Cape Hatteras to the north, Cape Lookout National Seashore stretches for 55 miles over the course of three undeveloped barrier islands—North and South Core Banks and Shackleford Banks. Situated in the southernmost half of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, the seashore’s history is fraught with shipwrecks and war, hurricanes and lifesavers. Exploring the islands now is literally like walking back in time—the remnants of Portsmouth Village, a once-bustling hotbed of mariners and surfmen, still stand today, as do the structures surrounding the Cape Lookout lightstation.Cape Lookout Kayak CampingPlay: Hike the trails on Harkers Island, where the Cape Lookout Visitor’s Center is located. The trails are short, but rich in diversity and history. As you wind through maritime forest and marsh, keep an eye out for waterfowl. If you want to see the seashore the way an old-time mariner might have, grab a boat and hit the water. You can launch straight from the Visitor’s Center at Shell Point and explore the 112 miles of uninhabited shoreline to your heart’s content. Of course, no trip to Cape Lookout is complete without a tour of the lighthouse. It’s a strenuous outing, and even experienced paddlers will want to do some research on the tidal patterns here. For all the effort, though, paddlers may catch sight of pelicans, ibis, egrets, and even stingrays, dolphins, and sea turtles. Not to mention the lighthouse itself, which is open to the public. As you pass by Shackleford Banks, keep your eyes peeled for the wild horse population that has inhabited the island for over 400 years.Stay: Pitch a tent and post up on the beach. Think open night sky, gentle roar of waves crashing along the shoreline, faint breeze blowing in the low-lying marsh. Pretty picturesque, right? Also, pretty sandy. So for those who prefer slightly more refined lodging, check out the cabins at Long Point on North Core Banks and Great Island on South Core Banks. Car camping is also permitted for four-wheel drive vehicles from March through November on North and South Core Banks.Get There: The three barrier islands are only accessible by boat, so paddle yourself across or hop on a ferry. Passenger ferries leave from the communities of Harkers Island, Beaufort, Morehead City, and Ocracoke, N.C., and the ferries from Davis and Atlantic, N.C., can transport passengers as well as vehicles.Generally, a National Park contains a variety of resources and encompasses large land or water areas to help provide adequate protection of the resources. Congaree National ParkSouth CarolinaSince gaining national park status in 2003, Congaree is quickly turning the minds of naysayers who see swamps as nothing more than dark, mosquito-infested mires. That’s probably because Congaree really isn’t a swamp—it’s a floodplain that floods roughly 10 times per year. The park’s namesake the Congaree River borders the 22,000-acre swath of forest to the south, but an intricate maze of creeks and intermittent streams take visitors right through the heart of the largest contiguous tract of old-growth bottomland hardwoods in the country.CypressKneesStevenMcNamara_FIXPlay: You’ll want to bring a pair of binoculars for this trip. Birders can spend the day taking in the sights and diverse vegetation of the 11.7-mile Kingsnake Trail, which nears Cedar Creek. Barred owls, wood ducks, and various species of woodpeckers are commonly seen and heard throughout all seasons. But to get the full experience of Congaree, you’ll need to BYOB (bring your own boat). Put in at Banister’s Bridge and take the Cedar Creek Canoe Trail, which winds for 15 miles past bald cypress trees and Spanish moss so thick, you’ll think you’re on the set of Jurassic Park. The binoculars will come in handy as you search for the champion Loblolly pine, which stands 167 feet tall.Stay: Ditch the bed and air conditioning and be at one with the elements! The park offers two designated places to camp, Longleaf and Bluff Campgrounds, which are primitive even by campground standards. Longleaf has access to vault toilets, but neither campground has running water. Backcountry camping is free to visitors, but the swampy conditions can make it hard to find someplace dry to pitch a tent…so bring a hammock!Get There: About a two-hour’s drive from major metropolitan hubs like Spartanburg, S.C., Charlotte, N.C., Charleston, S.C., and Augusta, Ga., Congaree is some 20 miles southeast of Columbia, S.C., via SC-48.Mammoth Cave National ParkKentuckyIt’s big, it’s dark, and it’s a little weird, but so goes the history of Mammoth Cave, the world’s longest cave system. At over 400 miles, the vastness of Mammoth’s system continues to expand year after year. Its vaulted chambers and complex labyrinths piqued the interest of Native Americans, miners, and musicians alike. Relics from times long gone still stand in the cave, like ancient graffiti, abandoned mining equipment, and stone huts used to house tuberculosis patients. History, culture, and natural wonder, Mammoth Cave is all of that and then some.Play: Get down and dirty with a Wild Cave Tour of Mammoth. You’ll be crawling, squeezing, and climbing to all of those hard-to-reach places the other guided tours talk about. The park is also home to more than just the Mammoth Cave system. Nearly 84 miles of trails in the backcountry, frontcountry, and Visitor’s Center areas weave throughout the park. Mountain bikers will enjoy the rugged 9.1-mile Big Hollow Trail, which is divided into beginner and intermediate-advanced friendly loops.Stay: The Mammoth Cave Hotel is an obvious choice for those who prefer the comforts of home, but the park also has a number of historic cottages and three convenient campgrounds.Get There: Just a half hour northeast of Bowling Green, Ky., Mammoth Cave is most easily accessed by taking the Mammoth Cave Parkway off of I-65.Various titles—National Military Park, National Battlefield Park, National Battlefield Site, and National Battlefield—have been used for areas associated with American military history.Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military ParkGeorgia and TennesseeAfter more than 12,000 years of Native American presence, these two sites saw some of the hardest fighting during the Civil War, largely due to the fact that Chattanooga held a special appeal to both the Union and Confederacy—the city served as a key rail center and gateway into the heart of the Confederacy. Though the Union was initially forced to retreat after the Battle of Chickamauga, the North’s soldiers eventually succeeded in driving the Confederates south out of Chattanooga and into Georgia.Play: Hike or ride (your horse, not a bike) through the park’s 40+ miles of trails. What better way to make history fun, and tangible, than by walking through the battlefields and historic sites yourself. Cannons, monuments, and literature are sprinkled throughout the trails, helping you make the most of your visit. The Lookout Mountain Battlefield is also a great place to take a stroll. The trails here lead visitors past iconic overlooks of the valley below. Some of these same overlooks can be seen in images shot during the Civil War.Stay: Though there is no available lodging on park grounds, Captain’s Quarters Bed & Breakfast Inn and Battleview Bed & Breakfast are a stone’s throw away in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.Get There: Cross the border into Georgia via US-27S from Chattanooga. The park is less than 10 miles from downtown.Manassas National Battlefield ParkManassas National Battlefield ParkVirginiaThough most may recognize Manassas as the setting for two Confederate victories during the Civil War, this national battlefield now serves the public as more than a tribute to the history that took place here. In Prince William County, where urbanization is rapidly spreading, the park’s 5,000 acres are surprisingly unspoiled, more so than most anywhere else in the Culpeper Basin. The meadows, woodlands, and streams are home to 168 bird, 26 mammal, 23 reptile, and 19 amphibian species. Despite the fact that Washington, D.C., is just 30 minutes away, this small park offers a refuge and migratory bird rest stop, so to speak, for redheaded woodpeckers and ruby-throated hummingbirds. In fact, it is because of the park’s grasslands, which are some of the largest protected grasslands in northern Virginia, that Manassas was selected as an Audubon Important Bird Area.Play: Hike along the Stone Bridge Loop Trail to get a taste for the park’s biodiversity. Between the Eastern White Pine, the Virginia Pine and Eastern Red Cedar, Piedmont Swamp, and Piedmont Bottomland forests, this chunk of the park is truly unique. At 1.3 miles, it won’t take you all day to hike the trail, but the multitude of flora and fauna here is not to be missed. Once you’ve finished your tour of the natural assets at Manassas, follow the First Manassas Loop or the Second Manassas Loop to learn more about the battles’ history. Each loop is paired with its own app for details regarding the engagements.Stay: While the park does not offer lodging or camping onsite, the Manassas Junction Bed & Breakfast is just a 15-minute drive away. Its close proximity to Old Town Manassas and the Manassas Museum will keep in theme with your historical tour of northern Virginia.Get There: No matter if you come from I-66 or I-95, you’ll eventually land on Route 234. The park is just over 30 miles west of the nation’s capital.National Historic Parks are commonly areas of greater physical extent and complexity than national historic sites.Chesapeake and Ohio CanalMaryland, West Virginia, and District of ColumbiaOriginally constructed as a means of increasing trade and job opportunities throughout the Potomac River Valley, the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal’s function as a trade route came to an end in 1924, but its towpath stands as testament to the period of innovation characteristic of the late 19th and early 20th century. Stretching for 184.5 miles from Washington, D.C., to Cumberland, Md., the towpath is a recreational mecca for bicyclists, hikers, and even paddlers, though the rewatered sections of the canal are few and far between.Play: Bike the C&O Canal in a day, if you’re in the mood for a challenge. The unofficial record holders for cycling all 184.5 miles of the towpath are, supported, 11 hours and 41 minutes, and unsupported, 12 hours and 36 minutes. For those who would rather take the time to stop and smell the roses, the trip can easily be accomplished in less than a week, depending on your mileage. Near the beginning of the towpath at mile 14, you’ll cross Great Falls, one of the most breathtaking sights along the C&O Canal. Bring a camera!Stay: Go light by eating and sleeping in the towns you cross, or lug food and gear with you and utilize the numerous campgrounds along the way. There are 30 hiker-biker campgrounds located roughly every eight miles along the canal, with a limit to one night’s stay per trip. Riders dreaming of a bed and a shower can find it at two hostels en route—Washington International Youth Hostel at mile 0 and Harpers Ferry Youth Hostel at mile 59.Get There: A number of access points exist along the C&O Canal, the primary ones being Visitor’s Centers in Washington, D.C., Potomac, Brunswick, Sharpsburg Pike, Williamsport, Hancock, and Cumberland, Md. Check out nps.gov for directions on the access point nearest you.Originally, National Recreation Areas in the park system were units surrounding reservoirs impounded by dams built by other federal agencies. Gauley River National Recreation AreaWest VirginiaWhitewater paddlers around the world rank the Gauley River high on their list of top river destinations, but what is it about this West Virginia river that has so enamored the paddling community? Is it the dramatic gorge and exposed cliff lines carved away by the river? Is it the rowdy, big water, high-volume rapids that drop 668 feet over the course of 28 miles? Is it the quiet feeling that overcomes you as you float downstream of Sweet’s Falls, just you and your crew and not another paddler in sight (unless, of course, you’re paddling during Gauley Fest weekend)? It’s all of that, and then some, that make the Gauley River one of the best in the world.Play: Be prepared to get wet on this wild and wonderful adventure. The Gauley River season begins the first weekend after Labor Day and continues for six weekends. For experienced boaters, both the Lower and Upper sections of the Gauley are packed with consistent, big-wave fun. Playboaters will find plenty of on-the-fly and eddy-service waves and holes to surf. Diagonal Ledges on the Lower Gauley is a popular spot to stop, play, and break for lunch. Only in town for a day? Marathon the upper, middle, and lower all in one fell swoop. Visitors with a knack for adventure but no technical whitewater skills can enlist the services of a local raft company to guide the experience for them. Anglers should be sure to visit the Gauley in the spring and fall when the trout, smallmouth bass, walleye, and muskellunge populations swim aplenty.Stay: You’ll find most of the river rats posted up at Gauley Tailwaters Campground during the season, eagerly awaiting the water. While backcountry camping is allowed throughout the recreation area, much of the land is privately owned, either by raft companies or individuals. Be respectful of private property when camping.Get There: About 90 miles due west of West Virginia’s capital, Charleston, the closest town to the Gauley River is Summersville. No matter which way you’re coming from, you’ll eventually hop off US-19 onto Route 129 where a number of river access points can be reached.National Preserves were established primarily for the protection of certain resources.Little River Canyon National PreserveAlabamaNestled in the northeastern corner of Alabama, Little River Canyon is one of southern Appalachia’s greatest hidden gems. The river itself is unique in that it forms and flows for nearly its entire length on top of a mountain. This ecosystem nurtures some 1,069 vascular plant species, not to mention 145 species of birds, 30 species of mammals, 74 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 47 species of fishes. Yet for all of its natural diversity, at its core, Little River Canyon is a recreational Shangri-la for kayakers and climbers who don’t need a guidebook to find adventure.Play: The high-quality sandstone in the preserve is steep and often overhanging, which means the routes here are the hardest of the hard. In fact, less than one percent of the routes are easier than a 5.11. Bring an extra set of guns (the ones attached to your shoulders) if you plan on climbing here. There is no formal guidebook for climbing in the canyon, nor will you find any of the routes on Mountain Project, so be prepared to learn about the climbing here the old fashioned by way—by winning over the locals. Established hiking trails are also limited here, save for what the kayakers and climbers have trampled down over the years. Paddling the Little River Canyon will feel like a first descent no matter how many times you navigate its class III-V rapids. The upper section, affectionately deemed by the locals as “The Suicide Section,” features a 30-foot waterfall, rock gardens, tight slots, and everything you love—and hate—about steep creeks. The lower section, however, is a classic, a jewel of a run that every intermediate and advanced paddler should add to their list.Stay: There is no camping allowed within the preserve, but nearby DeSoto State Park offers everything from cabins and chalets to a campground.Get There: The entrance to Little River Canyon is about an hour south of Chattanooga by way of I-59.last_img read more

Nordic roundup: PKA, Genan, AI Pension, PP Pension, Alecta

first_imgDanish labour-market pensions administrator PKA has secured a rescue deal with bank creditors to its troubled private equity investment Genan and put a new chairman in place at the tyre-recycling company.Without giving details of the agreement reached between PKA and the four banks that had lent to Genan and Deloitte – the audit firm involved – PKA’s managing director Peter Damgaard Jensen said: “It is an agreement all parties are satisfied with.”PKA took Genan over last August, raising its stake in the company to 97%, and said it has been trying ever since to find an overall economic solution to secure a future for the business.In September, PKA said it wrote down the value of its investment in the company to DKK250m in the first half of this year, having originally invested around DKK1bn in it. Damgaard Jensen said the deal meant PKA could now “look ahead” and that Genan could concentrate on what it did well.“We at PKA have always emphasised the importance of saving Genan because we believe in the business idea, and because it is the best way to secure our investment and our members’ pensions,” he said.Peter Thorsen, who has a background as a director and investor in a number of Danish companies, is to take over as chairman of Genan, replacing Jens Kampmann, PKA said.PKA’s investment director Michael Nellemann Pedersen will remain on the supervisory board of the company in the transition phase.One of the supervisory board’s first tasks will be to find a new and permanent chief executive to replace CFO Henrik Olesen, appointed interim chief executive on 1 December.Discussions had been held with the Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic Crime over the role in Genan of the company’s founder Bent Nielsen, PKA said.Meanwhile, Swedish occupational pension funds AI Pension and PP Pension have announced they are to merge.AI Pension, previously known as Arkitekternas Pensionkassa, and PP Pension, the pension fund for the press and media, are to become one pension fund on 1 January 2016, according to plans by the boards of both pension funds.The decision still requires the approval of both boards and the Swedish financial regulator Finansinspektionen, the funds said.Kjell Norling, chief executive of PP Pension, and Maritha Lindberg, chief executive of AI Pension, said in a joint statement: “There are major changes in the regulatory area, which increases demand and affects our costs negatively.”The merger will allow them to increase cost efficiency, reduce vulnerability, increase quality and improve their competitiveness, the two chief executives said.AI Pension and PP Pension have been operating in the competitive market for ITP1 and ITPK workplace pensions provision since 2007 and 2013, respectively, and no longer have monopolies in the provision of these, the funds said.Both pension funds were the insurer for ITP2 within their industries.In other news, Swedish occupational pensions provider Alecta has reported a 14.9% return for its defined contribution (DC) pension Alecta Optimal Pension over 2014, down from 17.3% in 2013, but revealed solvency had weakened.Alecta’s defined benefit (DB) pension ended the year with a 12.3% return, up from the previous year’s 9.8%.It said the DC return outperformed the benchmark by 1.8 percentage points.But the funding level of the DB pension fell to 143 at the end of December 2014 from 148 12 months earlier.The group solvency ratio also dropped, and stood at 159% at the end of last year, down from 170% at the end of 2013.“The reduction is due to falling interest rates, which led to increased provisions for the guaranteed pensions,” Alecta said.last_img read more

Cracker real estate bargains up for grabs in Queensland

first_imgThe home at 38 Albert St, Rockhampton City is on the market for $4000. Picture: realestate.com.auChasing a last minute Christmas bargain? How about a house for $4,000. There’s just one catch, you don’t get the land it sits on. The folks at realestate.com.au have compiled a list of the cheapest homes currently for sale in Queensland with the combined price of the top 10 coming in at $344,500. That’s less than the average house in Underwood, Morayfield or Ipswich. Topping the list is a two-bedroom weatherboard cottage at 38 Albert St, Rockhampton City, on the market for $4000. The price is for the house only but listing agent Kas Woch says the home would make a great second farm house or cheap storage. Plus it is only 6.8m wide so Mr Woch reckons it would be easy to transport. The ‘home’ at 77/760 Scenic Highway, Kinka Beach. Picture: realestate.com.auComing it at number two is a bus with built on annex and access to a jumping pillow at 77/760 Scenic Highway, Kinka Beach, south of Yeppoon. The two-bedroom ‘property’ is on the market for $28,000 and is in the local caravan park, so the new owner would be able to use the waterpark, resort pool, barbecue areas and sports courts. And the jumping pillow of course. The property at 25 Macks St, Wyandra. Picture: realestate.com.auTaking out the third spot is an actual house with actual land, 4,047sq m to be precise. And it even comes with an old butcher’s shop, all for $29,000. The downside? The property at 25 Macks St, Wyandra is being sold in an ‘as is’ condition, which isn’t exactly instaworthy. The online listing only contains one photo of the ‘renovator’s delight’, a fence of sorts and lots of dead grass. This is one for the buyer who isn’t afraid of a challenge. The property at 38 Darcy St, Mount Morgan. Picture: realestate.com.auIn the number four position is a fibro home elevated on a hillside in Mount Morgan with “views of the old mine site”, according to the listing. Who knew a mine site view was a selling point?The property at 38 Darcy St, Mount Morgan is for sale for $30,000 negotiable and the listing warns the home requires such extensive work that there are no internal photos available. How intriguing. How bad can it be? The unit at 68/61-79 Mandalay Ave, Nelly Bay. Picture: realestate.com.auRounding out the top five is a cute little holiday unit at 168/61-79 Mandalay Ave, Nelly Bay on Magnetic Island. In comparison to the previous four properties, this one is quite charming. Situated in the Amaroo on Mandalay resort, the property has one bedroom, one bathroom and kitchenette, all for $32,500. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus10 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market10 hours agoThe unit has been refurbished by the current owners and is close to bays, beaches, parks and water sports. Sounds like the kind of place you want to visit when taking a break from renovating one of the four cheapest homes for sale in Queensland. The 10 cheapest homes for sale in Queensland1. $4,000 – 38 Albert St, Rockhampton City 8. 42,000 – 3/4 Hakea Ct, Greenvale 5. $32,500 – 168/61-79 Mandalay Ave, Nelly Bay 6. $39,000 – 11 Pheasant Creek Rd, Wowan 2. $28,000 – 77/760 Scenic Highway, Kinka Beach 4. $30,000 neg – 38 Darcy St, Mount Morgancenter_img 7. $40,000 – 47 Thistle St, Blackall 9. $50,000 – 16 Hannah Cres, Dysart 10. $50,000 – 29 Darwin St, Jericho 3. $29,000 – 25 Macks St, Wyandralast_img read more

Egg donor compensation is to triple under new HFEA guidelines

first_img Share 13 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Share Tweetcenter_img Share Could higher payments raise donation rates?The UK’s fertility watchdog has agreed to triple the compensation given to women who donate eggs to help infertile couples to have a child. Donors currently have their expenses paid and up to £250 to cover lost earnings.The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has decided to pay a one-off fee of £750 per course of donation.Experts believe this will encourage more women to donate, but critics warn it may create financial incentives.Under EU rules a donor cannot be “paid”, however, they can be “compensated”.Juliet Tizzard, head of policy at the HFEA, said the current rules did not work and “some donors are out of pocket and they do feel undervalued at times”.The decision to move to a one-off payment was made at a public meeting of the fertility watchdog on Wednesday. The idea was to balance fairly compensating donors with the risk of encouraging people to donate merely for financial gain. The head of the HFEA, Prof Lisa Jardine said: “I believe it is fair.“I find it very hard to see £750 as an inducement, I see it as fair reflection of the effort, the time and the pain.”However she said the figure was “a very highly educated guess at what will feel to people like compensation”.Invasive processThere are currently long waits in the UK – sometimes five years or more – for couples seeking donor eggs. In a significant number of cases they travel abroad for treatment, often to Spain or the United States, where payments are higher and more women volunteer. But there can be risks involved with having treatment in countries where regulations are less stringent.Egg donation is an invasive process, which involves daily hormone injections, scans every couple of days, and day surgery to recover the eggs. Lesley Spencer has been looking for a donor for two years and would welcome a payment for participantsSide-effects range from mood swings, bloating and pain, to rare but severe over-reactions to the hormones.The National Gamete Donation Trust, which helps couples seeking egg or sperm donors, welcomed the change. “A balance is being struck between recognising the wonderful gift of donation yet not affecting the purity of donors’ motives,” said Laura Witjens, chairwoman of the NGDT.“Altruistic motives should remain at the core of donation, and payment should never facilitate coercion.”But Olivia Montuschi of the Donor Conception Network, a self-help network of donors and families of children conceived by egg or sperm donation, said she was deeply disappointed by the HFEA decision.“It will be something you will come to regret,” she said. “The perception will be that you are paying donors. £750 would make a huge difference to a young woman.”‘Commodity’The British Fertility Society supports an increase in compensation payment, but said it was important to ensure that women continued to volunteer for altruistic reasons.“The level of compensation should be raised so that it is commensurate with what a donor has to go through,” said BFS chair, Tony Rutherford.But opponents worry about the impact of increased payments. Dr David King, Director of Human Genetics Alert, said it will create a financial incentive for women.“Ethically, it’s wrong to make part of the human body a commodity,” he said. “The body should not be part of commerce.”Josephine Quintavalle, of Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: “Egg harvesting is an invasive and dangerous process and women should not be induced with ever larger sums of money to incur such risks.” By Jane Hughes & James GallagherBBC News HealthLifestyle Egg donor compensation is to triple under new HFEA guidelines by: – October 20, 2011last_img read more

Traffic Discipline Zone: Only 3 days of warning then crackdown starts

first_imgThe PSTMO, he said, has five speedguns to catch overspeeding vehicles, another one from the LTO, and five breathanalyzers to detect if drivers have too much alcohol intake. The pilot area is the busy14-kilometer Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue in Mandurriao district. What are the traffic rules andregulations to be fully imposed? “The apprehension of undisciplineddrivers and pedestrians will start after the three-day information drive, or onMonday, Jan. 20,” said Mayor Jerry Treñas yesterday. For three days beginning today, thePublic Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO) will be conducting amassive information drive on what the Traffic Discipline Zone is all about –the strict enforcement of all traffic rules and regulations, both local andnational. He lamented that as the cityprogressed, the traffic situation was becoming unmanageable primarily becausedrivers and pedestrians were disobeying traffic laws. ILOILO City – The city governmentlaunched yesterday a new scheme aimed at disciplining drivers and pedestrians –the Traffic Discipline Zone. Conlu said these included the speedlimit ordinance, the ordinance against modified mufflers, points where to loadand unload passengers, the law on the use of helmets and other body protectivegears by motorcycle riders and the maximum number of back riders allowed, thelaw on the use of seatbelts, the law on the non-use of cellphones while drivingand clearing of windshields from gadgets that directly distract the driver’sline of sight, among others./PN “We want to show that here in IloiloCity we follow traffic rules and regulations. Pagsulod mo gid sa boundary sangsyudad dapat masunod mo na ang traffic rules and regulations,” said Treñas. Traffic enforcers will initially operatefrom 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., said Conlu. Like the Diversion Road, McArthurDrive is also “problemado pirmi satraffic because of lack of discipline,” he explained. After the Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr.Avenue, next to be made a “traffic discipline zone” is McArthur Drive fromBarangay Tabuc Suba, Jaro district to Barangay Balantang. “I want this scheme initially tried onthe Diversion Road para mapakita ngapwede maobra ini,” said Treñas. PSTMO chief Jeck Conlu expressed hopethat the Traffic Discipline Zone would eventually make the impression tooutsiders that “basta Ilonggo,disiplinado.” PSTMO will be augmented by personnelfrom the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO).last_img read more

IPHO: Antique’s 3 probable COVID cases yield negative test results

first_imgThe three negative results bring to 33the total probable cases in this province who tested negative for the virussince February of this year. Of the 18 probable cases, eight arecurrently under treatment at the Angel Salazar Memorial General  Hospital (ASMGH) in this capital town, while10 others are under home quarantine. “Doctors and nurses assigned in thepediatric ward of the ASMGH became COVID-19 suspects because of their exposureto a pediatric patient, whose mother had an exposure with the virus-confirmedcase in Pandan,” she said.(With a reportfrom PNA/PN) As of this writing, Antique has twoconfirmed cases of COVID-19. One is from Barangay Semirara of Caluya town,whose laboratory results were released by the WVMC on April 7, while the otheris from Pandan town, whose results came out on April 9. Integrated Provincial Health Office-Antique information officer Irene Dulduco says that laboratory results of three probable coronavirus disease 2019 in this province turned our negative. Their specimens were submitted to the Western Visayas Medical Center in Mandurriao, Iloilo City over the weekend. PNA Meanwhile, pediatric patients beingbrought for admission to the ASMGH are now being referred to the Ramon Maza Sr.Memorial Hospital in Sibalom town after some ASMGH doctors and nurses in the pediatricward were labeled suspect cases of the virus. IPHO-Antique information officer IreneDulduco said recently that they have received the laboratory results of thethree probable cases on April 13. Their specimens were submitted to the WesternVisayas Medical Center in Mandurriao, Iloilo City over the weekend. “There are six more results that are still pending,” she added. SAN JOSE, Antique – The laboratoryresults of three probable coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in thisprovince turned out negative, according to the Integrated Provincial HealthOffice (IPHO) here. As of April 13, there are 119 suspectcases and 18 remaining probable cases in Antique.last_img read more

Bengals v. Panthers: Nobody Wins

first_imgBengals and Panthers tie in overtime thriller Sunday.CINCINNATI, Oh. – Nobody won Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals and Carolina Panthers tied in an overtime thriller 37-37.Cincinnati won the overtime toss and settled for a 42-yard field goal putting them ahead 37-34 with 8:40 remaining in OT.NFL rules dictate that a first possession field goal in overtime allows the opposing team to respond. A touchdown ends the game.Panthers drove down the field and hit a game tying 36-yard field goal with 2:19 remaining in overtime.The following Bengals possession was highlighted by a 24-yard pass from Andy Dalton to rookie receiver James Wright. It was Wright’s first career reception. The same play featured a Roughing the Passer penalty that put the Bengals in field goal range for the win.Kicker Mike Nugent missed a 36-yard field goal. The game ended in a 37-37 tie.Bengals record moves to 3-1-1 and Panthers go to 3-2-1.Game notes:Bengal safety Reggie Nelson intercepted a Cam Newton pass late in the 4th quarter that led to a field goal with 2:11 remaining in regulation. Bengals broke the tie taking a 34-31 lead.Carolina countered by knocking in a field goal as time expired in the 4th quarter forcing overtime.Sunday’s offensive highlights included an 89-yard touchdown run by Giovanni Bernard in the 2nd quarter. Quarterback Andy Dalton threw two touchdown passes Sunday to receivers Brandon Tate and Mohammed Sanu.The Bengals and Colts square off in “The Battle of I-74” at Lucas Oil Stadium next Sunday at 1 p.m.The team is back at Paul Brown Stadium against Baltimore on Oct. 26.last_img read more