The Floodgates Are Open

first_imgThe sirens ring out. Signal lights flash on top of signs that read “water levels may rise without warning.” In a matter of minutes, the dam opens, and a river that has been dormant for the majority of the year springs to life again.Even though many of the streams in the Southeast have been dewatered for hydroelectric power, American Whitewater (AW) and a number of other river preservation groups have worked to secure recreational releases on the best of these rivers. Paddlers, anglers, hikers, and swimmers can once again enjoy their beauty and carve into their currents. It isn’t surprising that some of the best whitewater festivals in the country occur with Appalachian rivers as their focal points.No paddler’s calendar would be complete without Gauley Fest in Summersville, W.Va. Over 5,000 boaters flock to the Gauley River and Summersville High School fairgrounds. This event injects over $1 million into the local economy in one weekend. The days are filled with class V whitewater, and the nights sometimes enter the misadventure and debauchery categories.One year, I traveled up to Gauley Fest with some non-boaters. One girl had never even seen moving water in her life, but in my youthful optimism, I promised to take her down the class V Upper Gauley in a two-person kayak. She must have weighed all of 110 pounds soaking wet, so how hard could it be, right?This poor girl had no idea what she had gotten herself into. Before she knew it, she was being pummeled by massive waves and holes of rapids like Initiation, Pillow Rock, Iron Ring, and Sweets Falls. She was in the front of the boat with her paddle flailing helplessly, while I guided us from the back. Every time a wall of whitewater hit us, she would absorb the entire impact of our momentum and be plastered back on the boat. She seemed to enjoy the adventure, but I don’t think she’s been on whitewater again since.Gauley Fest evenings are nothing short of legendary. Industry companies host kegs, boat giveaways, sumo wrestling, karaoke, and various other attractions to bring people to their respective booths, and things unravel quickly due to the fact that everyone is camping only feet away. One year, someone made the mistake of bringing boxing gloves. It started off in good fun, with friendly jousting and nobody getting too serious, but before long the big guys of the party had been alerted to the developing single-elimination boxing tournament, and things went south. Several knockouts occurred, and the shenanigans were eventually shut down. Another time, one of the paddling companies announced that it was going to be giving away a free kayak to the person who could catch a greased pig. I myself have fond (albeit hazy) memories of somehow getting into an unlocked Porsche 911 Turbo S late at night, and pretending that I was Mario Andretti in the parked supercar.Beyond Gauley Fest, there are other events in the community that epitomize the outdoor community’s camaraderie. One is a biathlon race in Asheville called Jerry’s Baddle (Bike + Paddle). I participated in the first Baddle in 2006. After an adrenaline and endorphin-fueled day of intense racing in gorgeous weather, competitors gathered afterward to meet the guy whom we had been racing for all day: Jerry Beckwith. Jerry was an avid kayaker and biker who had been combatting ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He couldn’t speak, but his smile radiated the happiness and appreciation that he had towards everyone for showing up to support him.  As Jerry’s wife read the words of his letter, there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd. Jerry reflected on the beauties and subtleties of his home river, the Green. And the many memories that he had with great friends there. His letter concluded: “I feel like the luckiest man on Earth. Certainly not because my body is slowly being imprisoned by ALS, but because I am blessed to have a huge number of the truest, most loyal, and compassionate friends anyone could hope for.”Jerry’s words were very powerful to me in that moment, but they also defined the exceptional group of people that I had managed to surround myself with both at the event that day and in my life. These communities are comprised of passionate, generous, fun-loving individuals who truly “suck the marrow out of life.” I smiled through the tears and realized that if I was in the same situation as him, I could say the same thing.Jerry’s fight with ALS ended two weeks after that very first race in 2006, but the event lives on. Once a year in late April, paddlers and bikers converge on Saluda, N.C. and push their own limits to honor a lost friend. These festival-forged friendships are the reason that the Southern Appalachians are home to one of the best outdoor communities in the world.If you are a paddler, make it a point to be there when those sirens go off, and the rivers come back to life. •Best Paddling FestivalsTallulah FestivalApril 13-15, 2013     Tallulah Falls, GA.NOC Demo Days & ShootoutApril 2013     Bryson City, NCJerry’s BaddleApril 2013     Saluda, NCjerrysbaddle.orgCheat FestMay 5, 2012     Albright, W.Va.cheat.orgDominion RiverRock FestivalMay 18-20, 2012     Richmond, VA.dominionriverrock.comPotomac FestTBA (usually around June 25)     Great Falls, MD.potomacfest.comGauley FestSeptember 14-16, 2012     Summersville, W.VA.americanwhitewater.orgNOC Guest Appreciation FestivalSeptember 28-30, 2012Bryson City, N.C.noc.com For a full listing of festivals, click here!last_img read more

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Court document: Target waited to respond to breach

first_imgA 55-page document, which a federal district court judge ordered to be unsealed, indicates that Target waited to respond to alerts about its massive 2013 data breach to avoid interrupting sales promotions on “Cyber Monday” after Thanksgiving.The document, reported in Credit Union Times, claims that Target ignored breach warnings and alerts on Nov. 24, 25, 26, 30 and Dec. 2 and delayed responding to the alerts because of Cyber Monday. Target finally responded to the issue only after the U.S. Secret Service contacted the company on Dec. 12, 2013.The document also alleges that Target disabled and removed security features until after “Black Friday” and did not fully implement malware prevention measures. It also says Target implemented a “system freeze” between October 2013 and January 2014 – Target’s busiest shopping season and the period in which the breach occurred – which made making adjustments to its security systems more difficult.Target responded to CU Times with a denial of the allegations, calling the claims “old” and “long disputed.” Target had requested the court keep the document sealed, but U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Keyes on Aug. 13 ordered it to be unsealed. A hearing on the plaintiffs’ class certification is set for Sept. 10. continue reading » 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Family of Mark Croce sues helicopter company

first_imgBUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB/WBNG) — According to WIVB, the family of developer Mark Croce is suing the aircraft company behind a helicopter he crashed and died in. Croce’s widow, Jessica, and the couple’s two children, who are minors, are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Filed by national law firm Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, the lawsuit accuses Robinson Helicopter Company of negligence and design defects that led to the crash. The law firm says the Robinson R66 helicopter, which was the model Croce was piloting, has had a “troubling history of defects” that include “low-inertia rotor blades, loss of tail rotor authority, fuel control failures, fuel system defects, mast bumping and other issues.” Mark Croce died in January along with 63-year-old Michael Capriotto, another area businessman, which happened in Silver Spring Township, Pennsylvania.last_img read more

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Gov. Cuomo expected to release guidance on high school sports next week

first_img(WBNG) — In his daily press briefing, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced guidance on the high school fall sports season will be released next week. The season is currently set to begin September 21. Organized team practices are still not allowed in New York. New York State Public High School Executive Director Dr. Robert Zayas has been waiting for further guidance from the state.last_img

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FDA clears CSL’s vaccine-finishing facility in US

first_imgAug 18, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved a vaccine filling and packaging facility in Illinois owned by CSL Biotherapies, one of the five companies under contract to make novel H1N1 vaccines for the United States, the company announced.The facility, based in Kanakee, includes a high-speed, single-dose vaccine filling line and is intended to help the company expand its capacity to make flu vaccine for the US market. The company, based in Australia, said in a press release that it completed production of its seasonal flu vaccine, Afluria, in early July and will deliver more than 8 million doses, most of it in thimerosal-free prefilled syringes, for the upcoming season.On May 29 CSL signed a $180 million contract with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to produce novel H1N1 antigen. Today’s FDA approval will enable the company to package the antigen, produced at the company’s headquarters in Australia, if requested by HHS. A company spokeswoman said in an e-mail sent to journalists today, “Today’s approval of this facility is particularly important as it will allow CSL to fill and package their vaccine against the novel influenza A/H1N1 virus in the US.”On Aug 14 during a National Biodefense Safety Board teleconference to update US officials on pandemic preparations, an HHS official scaled back the predicted initial supply of novel H1N1 vaccine from 120 million doses to 45 million doses by mid October, with 20 million doses arriving weekly thereafter. The official cited a US shortage of vaccine fill-and-finish sites, which are just finishing production of seasonal flu vaccines, as one of the reasons for the vaccine delay.Bill Hall, an HHS spokesman , told CIDRAP News today that the FDA’s approval of CSL’s new facility is clearly good news and is part of HHS’s strategy to maximize vaccine production and speed delivery. “However, it’s too early to predict at this point exactly how much this particular approval will enhance our overall production capacity and vaccine availability,” he added.Another reason cited for the reduced forecast regarding initial H1N1 vaccine supply was CSL’s contractual obligation to produce novel flu vaccine first for its home country, Australia, which is in the midst of its winter flu season. Officials also said one of the companies making seasonal flu vaccine is having problems finishing up production.When the Kanakee facility opens, it will have the capacity to fill and package 10 million doses of CSL’s seasonal flu vaccine each year, the company said. Once the site reaches full capacity it will be able to fill and package 20 million thimerosal-free prefilled syringes annually.Wally Casey, senior vice president and general manager of CSL’s Kanakee facility, said in a press release that the FDA’s approval today enables the company to rapidly deliver ready-to-administer flu vaccines to US healthcare providers. “It also underscores our support to enhance vaccine administration safety through the use of ready-to-use prefilled syringes,” he added.CSL said in a May 29 press release that it also has a fill-and-finish facility in Marburg, Germany.See also:Aug 18 CSL press releaseAug 14 CIDRAP News story “Officials lower expectations for size of first novel flu vaccine deliveries”May 29 CSL press releaselast_img read more

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Broad band: the second coming

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Students vow to return to streets, this time joining workers against jobs bill

first_imgThe students took to the street in late September and early October to protest against controversial revisions of the Criminal Code and the Corruption Eradication Commission Law, among other pieces of legislation. The partially violent protests lasted several days and were mostly attended by senior high school students and young adults.In a bid to attract investment, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo initiated the omnibus bill to make it easier for businesses to operate in Indonesia, thereby boosting job opportunities and economic growth in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.However, labor groups say the bill would negatively affect their rights, remuneration and job security.Observers have criticized the draft for the stronger role it would give the central government, saying this posed a risk to the checks and balances within Indonesia’s democracy. Environmentalists have warned that less stringent Environment Impact Analysis and building permit requirements would result in unsustainable growth. The head of the University of Indonesia’s (UI) student executive body (BEM), Fajar Adi Nugroho, says the university’s students are planning to stage a rally against a proposed bill on job creation.”There is a high chance that we will take to the street again. [Revoking the omnibus bill] will be among our demands [in the upcoming rally] that have not been fulfilled since #ReformasiDikorupsi,” Fajar said at the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) office in Jakarta on Thursday, as quoted by kompas.com.#ReformasiDikorupsi, which translates to “reform corrupted”, is the tagline for a series of rallies held across the country in late 2019. Read also: Guide to omnibus bill on job creation: 1,028 pages in 10 minutesFajar went on to say that students from other universities had not yet stated their plans to join the BEM UI in the upcoming rally, a date for which has yet to be set. However, discussions on the draft had erupted at universities across the nation, he added.”There are several universities in Greater Jakarta, such as Trisakti, that are now distributing questionnaires on [students’] views on the omnibus bill,” Fajar said, adding that students of Gadjah Mada Unisity (UGM) in Yogyakarta and Brawijaya University in Surabaya had also organized discussions on the proposed legislation.Fajar said students had to be aware of the long-term effects of the omnibus bill once it passed into law.Workers, meanwhile, have long started a major campaign against the bill, with rallies staged since January.”Our fellow laborers in Makassar and Lampung have started the movement”, said Akbar Rewako of the Labor Movement Central National Union. “We have no option but to fight a government policy that is not in favor of laborers,” he added. (gis)center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Manchester United wanted former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny as potential David de Gea replacement

first_imgManchester United wanted former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny as potential David de Gea replacement Metro Sport ReporterThursday 17 Oct 2019 3:15 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Advertisement Commentcenter_img Advertisement Wojciech Szczesny was wanted by Manchester United in the summer (Picture: Getty)Manchester United enquired as to the availability of Wojciech Szczesny during the summer while the future of David de Gea remained far from certain.The former Arsenal goalkeper has firmly established himself as Juventus’ No.1, despite the return of club legend Gianluigi Buffon in the summer, but his current contract is due to expire in the summer of 2021.Juventus, according to Goal, are keen to tie Szczesny to a new long-term deal and will offer a significant pay-rise which would see him earn up to €3.5million-a-year.Metro.co.uk understands United, meanwhile, hold a long-standing interest in Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak but De Gea’s decision to commit what should be the peak years of his career to the Premier League giants has put any move for the Slovenia international on hold.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTUnited have high hopes for Dean Henderson, the England Under-21 international currently on loan at Sheffield United for a second consecutive season, while Sergio Romero has proved an able deputy for De Gea since he joined from Sampdoria four years ago.More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errorsRomero will again be pressed into action this weekend against Liverpool after De Gea suffered a groin injury playing for Spain earlier this week and the 28-year-old could miss up to two months, while Paul Pogba will also Sunday’s heavyweight clash at Old Trafford.‘Paul had an injury, he came back, he worked really hard,’ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told Sky Sports. ‘He came back and played a couple of games, maybe played through the pain barrier.‘He had a scan after the Arsenal game and maybe needed a few weeks’ rest in a boot so hopefully he won’t be too long, but he won’t make this game, no.’MORE: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defends Ed Woodward over Manchester United’s transfer strategyMORE: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hints at January signings and admits Manchester United failed with two moves last summerlast_img read more

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Aklan suspends classes amid ‘coronavirus scare’

first_imgOf the figure, China had 5,997confirmed cases and 9,239 suspected cases.(Witha report from Akean Forum/PN) Classes in the Regional Science HighSchool for Region VI were also cancelled while some parents did not wait for anofficial class suspension announcement. The Chinese nationals from Hubeiprovince will stay in Aklan until Feb. 3 or the maximum 14-day incubationperiod.    BORACAY – Some classes in public andprivate schools in Kalibo, Aklan were suspended as pre-emptive measures againstthe new strain of coronavirus.    Provincial Health Officer Dr. CornelioCuachon Jr. said the tourists did not manifest the “flu-like” symptoms afterfour of them had close contacts with a patient positive for coronavirus in HongKong.       The 11 Chinese – seven adults and fourchildren – were traced by health authorities in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklanlast week.   Around 6,065 confirmed cases and 132deaths globally were recorded due to the coronavirus from China, according tothe World Health Organization on Jan. 29.   Students wear face masks at a Chinese school in Quezon City, Metro Manila on Jan. 28. Due to fear over a new coronavirus strain, classes in public and private schools in Kalibo, Aklan were suspended “to safeguard the health and safety of students, employees and teachers.” REUTERS/ELOISA LOPEZ The “virus scare” also prompted peopleto buy and wear face masks for protection. This after Kalibo mayor EmersonLachica issued Executive Order No. 004 on Jan. 29 which called for thesuspension of classes to safeguard the health and safety of students, employeesand teachers following the announcement of the Provincial Health Office inAklan that said 11 Chinese nationals were put under medical observation in agovernment-run training center in Kalibo. Although there are no confirmed casesof the new coronavirus in Aklan, the indefinite suspension of classes is ineffect for schools near the tourism and training center.   The class suspension affected around4,000 students of Starglow Center for Academics and Arts, Buswang Old BakhawSur Elementary School and the Saint Gabriel College, which are within the500-meter radius from the training center. They were admitted in the AklanProvincial Hospital in Kalibo on Jan. 24 and were transferred the next day tothe Gov. Corazon L. Cabagnot Tourism and Training Center in Barangay OldBuswang – about two kilometers from downtown Kalibo for monitoring.     last_img read more

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NegOcc officials discuss water security issues

first_imgBACOLOD City – Stakeholders from varioussectors of this province converged for a two-day summit to discuss the pressingissues of water security and also proposed solutions to provide potable andaffordable water for the Negrenses. Benitez said the government authorities,private sector and civil society must work together to institute criticalreforms and investments that would build adequate water infrastructure andensure social and environmental protection for generations to come.(With a report from PNA/PN) “An integrated approach to waterresource management or strong collaboration is key to rational development andthe management of water, land, and related resources to maximize economicbenefit and also to ensure social welfare and ecological balance for thelong-term,” he added. “Negros Occidental is a witness to thesetrends. The province is rapidly urbanizing. In 2015, 61 percent of the 2.5million population lived in urban areas and water infrastructure has beenunable to meet the growing demand,” Benitez said. In 2018, only 37.2 percent of householdsin the province have Level 3 water supply. That means having an extensivedistribution network of piped water connecting individual households. The Negros Water Summit, held at theNegros Residences, was organized by the Office of 3rd District Rep. JoseFrancisco Benitez, the summit director, to tackle four key themes – watersupply and quality, sanitation and sewerage, sustainability, and watergovernance. “High NRW levels prevent water utilitiesfrom recovering their investments and generating income that should be used toimprove infrastructure and expand service delivery. We do need to get our actstogether to promote water efficiency and conservation,” Benitez said. All 17 operational water districts inNegros Occidental reported 26.81 percent of non-revenue water (NRW) or lossesfrom leaks or pilferage. Although there is no short supply ofinnovative technologies that ensure a sufficient sourceof safe drinking water,he said that the stakeholders should explore alternative water resources andutilize water treatment technologies in order to address water scarcity and tohelp the cycle of water. “The degradation of water supply, thedepletion, and contamination of aquifers, the pollution of surface watersources, the denudation of forests and watersheds threaten our supply of safedrinking water,” he added. “We must come together to findsustainable solutions. Our next generation and our current development demandit,” said Benitez in his opening message. He also cited trends that disrupt accessto the water cycle, pose risks to water scarcity, lead to water stress, slowdown groundwater recharge, and reduced surface water flow, among others. Focusing on the challenges of watersecurity, the summit director said there is an increasing demand for suchvaluable resource at unprecedented levels due to population growth anddevelopment, which put water sources under threat.last_img read more

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