Month: December 2020


Institutional Resistance Against Solar in Many Sunny States


first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Across most of the nation, it’s clear solar power is taking off. But still some states are lagging behind and are holding on to policies that cramp growth instead of nurturing it, according to a new report.The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) recently released a report listing the ten states with high solar potential blocking distributed solar development. These states, primarily located in the Southeast, hold 35% of total solar potential in the United States, but only account for 6% of the nation’s total installed capacity.“We are building a campaign in the environmental community to support distributed solar in the built environment, on rooftops and other kinds of spaces, because it is wildlife friendly and an opportunity for a just energy system,” said Greer Ryan, research associate for the Center for Biological Diversity and author of the report “Throwing Shade; 10 Sunny States Blocking Distributed Solar Development.”“Policy determines whether solar will be affordable, whether it can connect to the grid, and how utilities interact with their customers,” Ryan said. “A lot of whether it is possible for people to take advantage of the technology goes back to policy.”Utilities, greens still miles apart on solar valuation, new report show Institutional Resistance Against Solar in Many Sunny Stateslast_img read more


Saving Our Snow: Champion Skier And Climate Change Activist Alison Gannett


first_img Unlike most professional athletes, Alison Gannett was an environmentalist before she became a world champion freeskier. Gannett has been researching global warming ever since she graduated from the University of Vermont with an environmental science degree 20 years ago. In the 90s she provided the action shots in Warren Miller films and won multiple World Cup Freeskiing Titles. She has since formed three nonprofits to fight climate change, including the Save Our Snow Foundation and the Office for Resource Efficiency, which offers free consultation for reducing carbon emissions in Colorado’s Gunnison Valley. A trainer for Al Gore’s Climate Project, Gannett also walks the talk. She lives in a straw bale house she built in Crested Butte, and on her Global Cooling tours, she drives around in the world’s first solar-powered SUV that gets over 100 miles per gallon.Has climate change accelerated faster than you anticipated?Every year the situation has become a little bit scarier. I call it global weirding, instead of global warming, because we really get such extremes. A common misconception is that we’re going to just get more floods or more droughts or less snow. The answer is we’re going to get it all. We’re going to have less precipitation when we need it and more when we don’t.How have you taken action?I’ve come up with a four-step framework to make solutions to climate change easier for people called C.R.O.P. It means calculating, reducing, and offsetting your carbon footprint, and producing your own power. It’s a simple framework that can be found on my website (alisongannett.com) that works on a personal level or on a larger scale for businesses or governments.How did you get into extreme free skiing?It was kind of by accident. I was skiing in Crested Butte on the Headwall when a Warren Miller crew saw me. They came up to me and said, “You should be in our movie. How’s next week?” I was a dedicated environmental scientist first. I never imagined I would be a professional extreme skier.With all of these projects, how do you balance your time?I do presentations for elementary schools and  governments of entire countries. But I also get in a good amount of skiing, yoga, and riding my bike to recharge my batteries.Next adventure?I have a big expedition planned in Greenland. There’s serious melting going on there—if half of Greenland melted, the sea level would rise 10 feet, putting the Southeast coast in serious jeopardy. I’m torn, because my traveling emits carbon. I have to balance my low-carbon lifestyle at home with my desire to get out and advocate for solutions to global warming.last_img read more


Exploring the Shining Rock Wilderness


first_imgThere are reasons why some destinations are more popular than others, and on a recent 16-mile circuit, I found out why so many hikers flock to the Shining Rock Wilderness. The area has almost everything that makes hiking worthwhile in western North Carolina: magnificent views; rhododendron-lined streams filled with trout; cascades and inviting swimming holes; forest glens contrasting with open meadows; thousands of wildflowers; opportunities for quiet campsites; and environments that make it seem as if you are hiking through various parts of the world.The magic of the place makes itself known less than a mile from the Shining Creek Trailhead. The stream flows over boulders and through narrow chutes, creating sparkling cascades and deep pools that reflect the emerald green of the surrounding vegetation. The route gets steeper after 3 miles by ascending switchbacks along the narrowing headwaters. The tumbling stream, rocks covered in neon green moss, and towering hemlock and spruce call to mind New England’s evergreen forests.Upon topping out at Shining Rock Gap and turning right on the Art Loeb Trail and then left onto the Ivestor Gap Trail, it’s goodbye eastern U.S., hello Europe. Now above 5,000 feet, miles of alpine meadows furnish dazzling views of the Great Balsam Mountains’ deep valleys and high peaks. The scene so reminded me of my ramblings in the Alps that I expected to find Julie Andrews twirling around and singing.Other times, it feels like America’s Continental Divide. Montana may be the Big Sky Country, but to stand here in open fields and gaze to where mountains meet earth’s canopy is to be filled with a sense of immense space.After rising above 6,000 feet along the Art Loeb Trail, it’s a downward trend along the Mountains-to-Sea, Bridge Camp Gap, and Big East Fork trails. The sheer number of swimming holes, chutes, crashing waterfalls, ferns, and wildflowers may make you want to linger here, delaying the return to the modern world.There are miles of pathways in the area and National Geographic’s Trails Illustrated 800-962-1643; www.nationalgeographic.com/maps Pisgah Ranger District map shows them in detail.last_img read more


BRO Athletes: Laura Farrell Takes on a New Home, New Rivers, and New Races


first_imgAbout three months ago I moved to Washington, D.C. to start a new job working for National Geographic in their adventure travel department. It was a big and scary change for me- I went from traveling the world guiding trips and living in the small mountain town of Bryson City, North Carolina to working in an office and living in the big city. I am happy to report that the move has been great so far. My job is great and I have found pockets of small town living even in the city, and have especially loved getting to explore new rivers and kayak races in the area!First up was the Top Yough Race which took place the first weekend in April. Since I had never paddled any section of the Yough before, we headed out early on Friday to get a few practice laps in. I had heard so much about the Upper Yough, but never much about the Top. I was pleasantly surprised as to what a classic the Top Yough was! Short but sweet, it reminded me a lot of the Tobin section of the Feather out in California. The water level had been really low, but rain on Friday afternoon and evening started to get it bumped up. I think we all went to sleep that night a little worried about what kind of level we would find in the morning.My group of friends had totally planned to get up early and get another practice lap in to see the current water level before racing it, but after it started snowing motivation was hard to come by. Ultimately we traded a practice lap for coffee and a delicious breakfast in a warm cafe and hoped for the best. Thankfully, while the river had risen, it wasn’t significant and if anything made the section easier to race because you didn’t have to worry as much about getting hung up on rocks.Screen shot 2015-05-28 at 1.42.08 PMThe race was a lot of fun. The Top Yough is a perfect Green Boat race, with fun lines and relatively easy moves to make, but with enough action to keep you on your toes. I told myself (as I do before most races with class 4-5 moves) to just keep it smooth and in control. I’ll take a safe and clean, but slightly slower run, over the possibility of a fast but loose one any day. In the end, I was very pleased with my race lap and made it through without any flips, or spinouts, or pins, and it didn’t feel too slow either!After the race, it was time for celebrating with beers and the award ceremony. In the men’s category, Geoff Calhoun and Jason Beaks took the wins for the short and long boat class and for the women’s, I won the long boat class just ahead of Erin Savage and Margaret Williams who took the win for the short boat class.Next on my list for new rivers and races was the Cheat River Race and Festival, which took place the first weekend in May.I snuck off after a half day of work the Friday of Cheat Fest in order to arrive at the river just in time for the race. There were over 100 people at the starting line with a wide assortment of watercrafts. Some people were definitely there to go fast, but it was obvious everyone was there for a good time.Screen shot 2015-05-28 at 1.42.17 PMThe race was long with lots of flat water. It was my very first run down the Cheat, so it was really interesting trying to pace myself without having any idea how far into the river I was. Fortunately, there were plenty of nice people around me who didn’t seem too bothered when I asked them “are we there yet?!” After an hour and 20 minutes of pushing myself, I finally reached the finish line.I finished second in the race behind Ashley Knee who placed competitively amongst the males as well. I am new to the area so I don’t know all the locals yet, but I hear Ashley is a local slalom racer and she’s fast!The rest of the weekend was spent enjoying the river and the festival with good friends. We paddled the Top and I had my first lap down the super classic Upper Yough section on Saturday. Sunday I enjoyed a much slower float down the Cheat with good friends, including BRO writer Jess Daddio. The festival itself was super fun and one I highly recommend everyone checking out!Next up on the racing list for me is the Great Falls race on the Potomac July 11. Stay tuned for a full race report!Screen shot 2015-05-28 at 1.45.22 PMlast_img read more


Weather Woes | Can Ski Resorts Adapt to Climate Change?


first_imgSeveral resorts across Appalachia are making changes to prepare for warming weather patterns. If climate change is not slowed, ski resorts could see their livelihoods melt away completely in the not-too-distant future. But many resort owners say they are more worried about short-term, season-to-season temperature fluctuations than what their businesses could look like decades from now.“We’re a very weather-dependent industry, and things have been up and down,” says Barbara Green, president of Blue Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania. “Last year, weekend visits were probably down about 20 percent. But because of the snowmaking technology we’ve invested in, I think we’re in a really good position to keep on skiing for many, many years.”Tyler Crawford, director of front-end operations at Montage Mountain Ski Resort in Pennsylvania, feels much the same way. “Within the last 10 years, we’ve seen so much weather fluctuation. There’s no consistency.” Still, Montage Mountain is hedging its bets with a zip line, outdoor water park, and other warm-weather options in case the snow season shrinks significantly over time.More and more resorts are coming up with creative ways to attract as wide a swath of humanity as possible—even those allergic to the cold. For example, Beech Mountain Resort in North Carolina offers a host of activities ranging from disc golf to scenic lift rides to a restaurant dubbed “the highest skybar in the East.” And Beech has become the epicenter of downhill mountain biking, attracting the national downhill biking championships to their trails.“Downhill biking has become hugely popular, and people like that our trails are lift-accessible because you’re just riding down the hill,” says Talia Freeman, Beech Mountain’s director of marketing.Other Eastern ski resorts are offering year-round recreation as well, including Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia (backcountry tours, horseback riding, and yoga) and Wintergreen in Virginia (everything from archery to tennis to spa treatments). “We want people to visit us in summer as well as winter—to sort of rebrand ourselves,” says Shawn Cassell, public relations specialist for Snowshoe. Although climate change is also “a factor,” he says it isn’t driving business decisions, at least for now.Then there are climate change skeptics like Chris Bates, general manager of Cataloochee Ski Area in North Carolina. “I don’t believe there’s enough science to say whether we’re in climate change or not,” he says. “Still, I believe in being a good steward of the environment. We should try to leave everything better than we found it.” For Cataloochee, that means common-sense measures like installing efficient lighting, recycling as much as possible, and investing in energy-efficient snowmaking equipment. But climate change itself gets no more than a shrug from Bates. “In the 30 years I’ve done this, I’ve seen up-and-down weather across the board,” he says. “I think I’ve seen it all, and it hasn’t varied that much.”One thing is clear: a lot of money is at stake in the snowsports industry. A 2012 study by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the advocacy group Protect Our Winters, citing data from 2009-2010, found that more than 23 million people participated in winter sports through spending at ski resorts, hotels, restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and gas stations. All that activity pumped about $12.2 billion into the U.S. economy and supported, either directly or indirectly, nearly 212,000 jobs—including thousands in Eastern states like North Carolina (2,445) and Virginia (1,960).Not surprisingly, the study also found that decreased snowfall blunts a lot of that economic impact. For example, between November 1999 and April 2010, Virginia and Maryland saw a combined 19 percent difference in skier visits for low snowfall years compared to years when snow was plentiful. That translated into a $17.9 million difference in ski resort revenue and a $13.6 million difference in added economic value.Regardless of the financial bottom line, Geraldine Link, director of public policy for the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), says her organization is working to fight climate change simply because it’s the right thing to do. The group adopted an official climate policy in 2002 with the goals of reducing the carbon footprint of ski resorts, educating others about carbon emissions, and advocating for climate-friendly legislation. She says 34 resorts nationwide (although only one in the East—Hunter Mountain in New York) have taken up the NSAA’s “climate challenge,” wherein they conduct carbon inventories of their ski areas and set emission-reduction targets that must be achieved with specific actions in a specific timeframe.Despite everyone’s best efforts, climate change may already be an irreversible reality. For this and other reasons, it “makes sense as a business model” for ski resorts to offer warm-weather activities, Link says. “You have all of that infrastructure investment, so why not take advantage of it?” To that end, the NSAA successfully pushed for a 2011 bill that authorized the construction of facilities for four-season use of ski resorts operating on Forest Service land.Resort owners are wise to expand their repertoires, because participation in winter sports is taking a hit. “For decades, the baby boomer generation has been the prime demographic for skiing,” says Larry Weindruch, president of National Ski & Snowboard Retailers Association. “That’s starting to change.” According to Weindruch, Generations X and Y aren’t necessarily replacing all of the Boomer skiing aficionados; many younger folks find snow sports inconvenient and expensive, want to start families, or just don’t have the time. The industry is trying to spread the skiing gospel through public relations campaigns, but it’s an uphill battle. “There’s leakage in terms of numbers of overall participants, and we need to do something about it,” he says. In other words, maybe ski resorts have more to worry about than just a warming planet.last_img read more


Hiking with Paul’s Boots


first_imgA big, laughter-loving Australian of 6 foot 3 inches, working as a telephone company draftsman by day, Paul Evans preferred to spend his downtime either leading a troop of Boy Scouts or exploring the outback. More than anything else, he delighted in nature. In fact, when his bride-to-be, M’Lynn Markel, left California in 1998, one of the first things the newlyweds did together was go camping. The decision was fortuitous: The couple fell in love with being outside together, and made a pact to hit the trail whenever possible.For about six years, Paul and M’Lynn spent the bulk of their weekends and vacations outdoors and, preferably, in the wilderness. Life was good. They were wildly happy. Then, like a freight-train, came the problems.First, Paul’s mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. With his father suffering from Alzheimer’s, 42-year-old Paul took on the role of caretaker. Four years later, his mother passed. Meanwhile, his father’s condition continued to worsen. The gaps between hiking trips grew and grew.20160708_084707_fixIn the interim, Paul’s health deteriorated. By the end of 2014, he’d suffered a series of heart attacks. The damage was so extensive, a walk down the block demanded numerous breaks. Hiking became out of the question.However, even as his body failed him, Paul began to pack for a trip he’d dreamed of completing but never gotten around to—a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Listening to the Dirtbag Diaries podcast series, he was thrilled with its tales of gritty thru-hikers weathering the elements and overcoming mental and physical obstacles to achieve their dream of finishing the trail. Inspired, he ordered guidebooks. Plotted routes. Packed his backpack. Organized gear. And, lastly, placed his hiking boots beside the door.Only, on July 23 of 2015, just two weeks before his 53rd birthday, Paul passed away.Shattered by the unexpected loss, raw with grief, M’Lynn wrote a letter to the producers of podcast, asking if they could help get her late-husband’s boots onto the A.T. The company said yes, and, after partnering with REI, did just that.From March to late-September of 2016, a group of 28 hikers banded together to carry three separate pairs of ‘Paul’s Boots’ along the entire length of the Appalachian Trail—over 6,600 miles, collectively. Known as Paul’s Protectors, participants ranged from age eight to 70, from newbies to last-shot veterans. Along the way, they recorded their experiences with GoPro cameras, posting reflections and photos to social media so that M’Lynn could follow along from home.What was it about the Paul’s Boots project that appealed to you and made you want to participate?Bonnie Elozory, age 50Protector through Shenandoah National ParkI’d dreamed of thru-hiking the A.T. all my life. When I turned 50, it hit me that I’d better do it now, because this old body was never going to be any more able than it was today. Knowing Paul missed his opportunity just slayed me. I was overcome with sadness. When I heard Paul’s story, I knew that if my daughters and I carried his boots, the act could give M’Lynn and his family the same kind of healing being on the trail gave us.Matt Maszczakl, age 40, REI employeeProtector from Sage’s Ravine in Massachusetts to New YorkWhen I heard Paul’s story, I could imagine myself in his boots. I turned 40 this year. I’m out of shape, and I’m always too busy to do what I really love. But I dream about it a lot. I make big plans, but don’t always follow through. I felt like I got Paul. I had to do this because, if I didn’t, nothing amazing would happen. If you want amazing, you gotta get off your ass and go get it. This was my chance to do that.What was it like actually carrying the boots?Alex Newlon, age 28An epileptic Thru-Hiking with Paul’s BootsThe boots are heavy—I mean, they’re a size 13! With no way for me to wear them along the trail, I hung them on the side of my pack. However, I did put them on and walk around in them when I was in town taking a zero day… And when I was on the trail, I thought about Paul all the time. I’d ask him what he’d like to do, what he’d liked to eat, or even which campsite he preferred. In that way, carrying the boots was like having a guardian angel, or a really great friend along for the ride.Brittany Leavitt, Smithsonian educatorProtector from Ashby Gap, VA. to Harper’s Ferry, W.VA.I was honored to be able to help someone accomplish a dream. Meanwhile, in doing so, the experience taught me what true love is really about. M’Lynn wanted to make sure Paul’s dream came true. It was amazing to see how many people came together from all over to make sure his boots made the full thru-hike. It just goes to show you how amazing the outdoor community truly is.Tricia Nesser, age 51, Physician’s AssistantProtector through the Presidential Peaks in the White MountainsTo be honest, I’m extremely scared of heights. Like, crazy scared. So whenever I was crossing water on planks, or climbing up and down ladders, I’d ask Paul to give me strength. Every time I asked, I’d feel this surge of courage, I’d keep going. Similarly, when the weather report was bad, or there was rain, it didn’t faze me—I knew Paul was watching over and protecting me. His presence was very tangible, very real. I knew he wanted me to succeed.DCIM100GOPROGOPR0371.Describe your best experience on the trail with Paul’s Boots?Newlon: Cowboy-camping on top of South Kinsman Mountain in New Hampshire, I had the opportunity to show Paul the Milky Way Galaxy. I’m not sure if he’d ever seen it before, but I know we had a great time together on top of that mountain. All alone in the middle of nowhere, staring up at the stars all night—it was the type of experience that can change you forever.Maszczak: My biggest revelation came on day three. I was exhausted, broken, empty—I had a moment where I just wanted to quit. Then, suddenly, the trail opened up, and the sun came out, and that special kind of natural magic that only a hiker knows, began to buzz all around me. That’s when I thanked Paul and M’Lynn for kicking me out the door. I knew I was right where I was supposed to be.Elozory: One day, we met a group of 10th graders out on a four-day hike. They were complaining about the hardships of hiking. The kids couldn’t believe that my daughters were hiking to honor a request from “some dude’s family [they] didn’t even know.” I told them that whatever dreams they have, they shouldn’t let them slip away. That time passes quickly. When we got home, I received a beautiful letter from those kids telling us the meeting had changed the whole feeling of the trip. The kids started to accept the conditions and find the beauty in what they were doing. Paul’s dream was fulfilled in an unexpectedly different way.Your worst experience?Newlon: There was one rough day along the trail when I was climbing up a mountain, beaten-down, just staring at my feet. Then Paul’s boots kicked me in my left arm. I looked up and saw a deer standing in the middle of the trail just staring at me. It was as if Paul was trying to show me something. He was telling me to pay more attention to the beauty of the world around me.Elozory: Near the end of our hike, the shelters and surrounding areas were too crowded to comfortably camp. Eventually, we decided we’d just hike out to Rockfish Gap. With the darkness and our tired legs, the hike seemed to go on and on. We ended up walking about 30 miles in total. At one point, exhausted and hungry, my daughter began to cry. She was totally spent. I was singing songs and telling stories in an attempt to cheer her up. She asked how I could continue to be so cheerful, and I told her it was because I was so happy to be alive, to be here with her and to be carrying Paul’s boots.photo-aug-24-9-17-23-am_fixWhat did you take away from the experience?Maszczak: When I signed up, I thought this would be a great way to honor someone. Now, I realize that it was so much more. The A.T. is like nowhere else in the world. It’s the only place I’ve ever been where I instantly felt like I belonged. When people heard what I was doing, they smiled and nodded. They weren’t surprised. It made sense. You know, the thing about this life, the normal one we all succumb to, it hardly ever makes any sense. But life on the trail? That life has meaning and honor, and it just makes sense in every single moment. And I learned that because of Paul.last_img read more


Plan The Perfect Trailblazing Road Trip For Whiskey Lovers and Foodies in Fredericksburg, Virginia


first_img The Distinction Is in the Details Let your pioneer spirit flow at A. Smith Bowman Distillery for a complimentary tour and tasting. After all, getting to enjoy their pre-Prohibition traditions is the perfect start to a well-deserved getaway — especially if you’re in the spirit to try their Whisky Magazine “World’s Best Bourbon” winners, such as their John J. Bowman Single Barrel Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey. First Stop: Explore Virginia’s Oldest and Most Award-Winning Distillery The city of Fredericksburg is rich in history — from George Washington’s childhood home to Civil War battlefields and the James Monroe Museum. The best part? Fredericksburg is an extremely walkable town. You can either travel by foot or hop on a trolley from Trolley Tours of Fredericksburg to ensure you don’t miss a thing. Stroll through the city’s Historic District, visit more than 100 unique shops, or join a candlelit walking ghost tour. Quick history lesson: In 1927, before establishing the family’s Distillery, A. Smith Bowman purchased a 7,200-acre farm in Fairfax County called Sunset Hills. Shortly after bringing his dairy and granary idea to life, his fields became so abundant that he needed a use for the excess grain. In 1934, with his cows well-fed and his grain silos packed to the rafters, A. Smith Bowman Distillery was established and, up until the 1950s, the family farm became the sole producer of legal whiskey in the Commonwealth. Autumn is the perfect time to bask in nature’s beauty, so why not take advantage? Rent a canoe from River Rock Outfitter and paddle down the Rappahannock River, cycle along 15 miles of scenic trails, or check out the Rappahannock River Heritage Trail, which connects with the city’s Canal Path to make a 3-mile loop. Bring your camping gear and call it a night at nearby Lake Anna State Park. For the angler, there are numerous great spots to cast your line into one of the park’s fishing ponds or try your luck for bass and giant blue catfish along the banks of the Rappahannock River. Get Lost in History During your complimentary tour, you’ll get to explore every corner of Virginia’s oldest Distillery, from Master Distiller Brian Prewitt’s “Playground” to its new state-of-the-art bottling line that can label, fill, cork, and laser sketch each bottle before it gets shipped to your local store. After your tour and tasting, check out the gift shop to pick up a bottle or two of your new favorite as well as some great Virginia-made, bourbon-infused sauces, home decor made from reclaimed bourbon barrels, and much more.center_img Photo courtesy of Alpine Chef’s Instagram 1940 View of Original Distillery Building After your tour, head downtown let your taste buds continue the exploration. You’re in for a treat as Fredericksburg has a little bit of everything waiting for you on the menu! If you are in the mood for fresh, authentic Italian, Orofino is a must. If you’re long overdue for a romantic date night, enjoy an intimate farm-to-table dinner at Foode. Have an appetite for homemade German dishes? Your mouth watering bratwurst at The Alpine Chef is even brought to your socially-distanced table by a dirndl-dressed server. (Psst. The German word for delicious is Köstlich, by the way.) Take a break from sipping your own supply and swing by Fredericksburg, Virginia for the perfect weekend road trip for whiskey lovers, foodies, and outdoor enthusiasts. From fermentation of its mash to filling up the stills lovingly nicknamed “Mary” and “George” — which pay homage to the parents of the Bowman Brothers — A. Smith Bowman Distillery stays true to its time honored traditions and pays attention to the tiniest details in every step of the process. Connect with the Great Outdoors Although the Distillery has since relocated to Fredericksburg, it still continues to balance long-lived traditions, honoring Virginia’s great pioneers, with experimentation and innovation to create some of the finest spirits in the Commonwealth. Eat Like a Local and Try Fredericksburg’s Favorite Spotslast_img read more


Salvadoran Hands Will Bring Hope to Haitian Earthquake Amputees


first_img The young people have degrees in orthopedics and prosthetics from Don Bosco University (UDB), an institution located in a semi-rural sector of the municipality of Soyapango, on the northeastern edge of San Salvador and notorious for the strong gang presence in its numerous neighborhoods. According to current plans, this group of young people will be replaced in three months by another Salvador team, and the rotation will continue as long as necessary. The technicians, who are traveling to Port-au-Prince Wednesday, will spend the next few months as part of a mission supported by the non-governmental organizations Handicap International and Healing Hands for Haiti, working to help those mutilated in the tragedy recover their mobility. He calculated that the group of Salvadorans will build around three hundred prosthetic limbs in their mission in that country. Although initial plans are for the Salvadorans to work for three months, Martínez affirmed that the mission “can be extended as necessary.” Six young Salvadoran volunteers with expertise in making prosthetic limbs will bring hope to hundreds of Haitians who lost a limb in the earthquake that devastated that impoverished Caribbean country in January. By Dialogo March 04, 2010 “After seeing how difficult and precarious conditions are in Haiti and hearing the international cable-news channels start to mention that thirty, forty, and even one hundred amputations were being performed daily, we coordinated with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)” to offer help, the dean of UDB’s School of Rehabilitation Sciences, José Rolando Martínez, told EFE. last_img read more


PANAMAX 2013 Kicks off in Miami


first_img During the exercise, Harris will act as the commander of Multinational Forces South. U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet supports U.S. Southern Command joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions. “The governments of the countries participating in PANAMAX share common interests and this exercise enhances those links by fostering friendly, mutual cooperation and understanding between participating militaries,” Harris said. “This multinational exercise also contributes to interoperability, and builds the capabilities of the participating nations to plan and execute complex multinational operations.” This year’s annual PANAMAX exercise develops and sustains relationships that improve the capacity of the nation’s emerging and enduring partners’ security forces to achieve common desired goals, while fostering friendly cooperation and understanding among participating forces. The exercise will conclude on August 16. PANAMAX 2013 is a U.S.-sponsored, multinational annual exercise that, this year, includes participants from Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and the United States. center_img Approximately 160 military personnel, including Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet, Rear Adm. Sinclair Harris, and personnel from 19 nations arrived at U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) headquarters Aug. 12 to begin exercise PANAMAX 2013. By Dialogo August 14, 2013 U.S. and partner nations train in the execution of stability operations under the support of United Nations Security Council Resolutions; provide interoperability training for the participating multinational staffs; and build participating nation capability to plan and execute complex multinational operations. We watched with admiration another exercise performed by the Americas’ Military at PANAMAX – 2013, under USA’s South Command inspiration and coordination. This event, as always, has a positive effect, strengthening the Americas’ forces cooperation on land, sea and air, which aims to guarantee inter-American defense integration and security for the development of these countries. It contributes, as a moral factor, for social peace at the region. This event comes in good time to stimulate international relations research and studies, especially when it focus the importance of sharing maritime power among the countries. Receive my compliments, the event’s success is guaranteed by all participants’ high interest level.Ney de Araripe Sucupira – Public Relations Director – Associação dos Diplomados da (Graduates Association) Escola Superior de Guerra – ESG – São Paulo, Brazillast_img read more


Paraguayan Joint Task Force Seeks to Free Two EPP Kidnapping Victims


first_imgIn the video, Morínigo speaks first. In the Guaraní language, he addresses his remarks to his relatives, asking for calm and saying that he is in good health and has not been tortured or mistreated. The terrorist organization is particularly active in the country’s northern zone, which covers the departments of San Pedro, Concepción and Canindeyú. It has been accused of more than 20 kidnappings, including the 2004 kidnapping of Cecilia Cubas, the daughter of former Paraguayan President Raúl Cubas. Cecilia was found dead in February 2005, even though the family had paid a ransom for her release. The EPP is still holding Fick even though his family has already paid a ransom for his release. By Dialogo November 17, 2014 “Our feelings are divided on this. On the one hand is the government’s firm stance that it will not negotiate with these criminals, and on the other hand, there is the psychological suffering endured by the hostages’ families. We live through it with them every single day.” The EPP was formed in 2001 under the name “Movimiento Patria Libre” (Free Homeland Movement), which later became a political party. Some of its members have broken away and live covertly, using weapons and committing crimes such as kidnappings. Fick is shown next. He also addresses his family, reading a brief statement in which he says “the EPP will keep their promise (to free him).” Fick, whose parents are Brazilian, also requested that the government of Brazil intervene in the rescue negotiations. Since the case became public, Zulmar Pimentel, the Brazilian Federal Police attaché in Asunción, has been cooperating with Paraguayan authorities. The terrorist organization is particularly active in the country’s northern zone, which covers the departments of San Pedro, Concepción and Canindeyú. It has been accused of more than 20 kidnappings, including the 2004 kidnapping of Cecilia Cubas, the daughter of former Paraguayan President Raúl Cubas. Cecilia was found dead in February 2005, even though the family had paid a ransom for her release. The country’s Joint Task Force (FTC), a team consisting of military and police personnel, is leading the effort to locate Fick, 17, and Morínigo, 25, and bring them home safely. Its sole mission is to combat the EPP, particularly in the northern region of the country. The delays in releasing Fick and Morínigo show that the EPP is emulating the kidnappings perpetrated by another terrorist group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), from whom the EPP has received “training and support,” according to Interior Minister Francisco de Vargas. On October 22, the EPP released a video showing that Fick and Morínigo were still alive. The two are shown at a campsite, surrounded by four EPP members who are armed and dressed in military uniforms, under a tent marked “People’s Jail.” Fick is shown next. He also addresses his family, reading a brief statement in which he says “the EPP will keep their promise (to free him).” Fick, whose parents are Brazilian, also requested that the government of Brazil intervene in the rescue negotiations. Since the case became public, Zulmar Pimentel, the Brazilian Federal Police attaché in Asunción, has been cooperating with Paraguayan authorities. To maximize the safety of the kidnapping victims, security forces are not publicly divulging their rescue strategies, said Urdapilleta. In a May 20 press conference, Alcido Fick, the victim’s father, said he had paid US$500,000 for Arlan’s release, and in addition delivered livestock valued at US$50,000 to a poor community in the northern zone of Paraguay. Ransom paid The country’s Joint Task Force (FTC), a team consisting of military and police personnel, is leading the effort to locate Fick, 17, and Morínigo, 25, and bring them home safely. Its sole mission is to combat the EPP, particularly in the northern region of the country. “Our feelings are divided on this. On the one hand is the government’s firm stance that it will not negotiate with these criminals, and on the other hand, there is the psychological suffering endured by the hostages’ families. We live through it with them every single day.” Our world is worse off than a never ending hole. We get sad when we watch national and international news; it seems like we’re living in a tumultuous end where everything is a disaster and where we have forgotten about God, his word, and we do things as if we were irrational, fathers killing sons and daughters, an increase in robberies, essentially, terrible inhumanity. Let us, in each one of our own religions, pray more so that God protects us, so that mankind is more united and so that the fraternal spirit of Christmas is not only found in the beautiful words on post cards. Put an end to the production of weapons and everything will be minimized. The rest will be resolved through other measures. The delays in releasing Fick and Morínigo show that the EPP is emulating the kidnappings perpetrated by another terrorist group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), from whom the EPP has received “training and support,” according to Interior Minister Francisco de Vargas. In a May 20 press conference, Alcido Fick, the victim’s father, said he had paid US$500,000 for Arlan’s release, and in addition delivered livestock valued at US$50,000 to a poor community in the northern zone of Paraguay. “We are conducting our search efforts to locate where [the hostages] are in fact located. The strategy aims at intensifying our intelligence efforts,” said FTC Communications Chief Lt. Col. Víctor Urdapilleta. “We are seeing a way to get to them, preserving the hostages’ lives, which is the most important thing.” “You promised to free my son if I complied with your demands,” he said. To maximize the safety of the kidnapping victims, security forces are not publicly divulging their rescue strategies, said Urdapilleta. The EPP was formed in 2001 under the name “Movimiento Patria Libre” (Free Homeland Movement), which later became a political party. Some of its members have broken away and live covertly, using weapons and committing crimes such as kidnappings. Paraguayan military and police forces are using intelligence to try to locate and secure the safe release of Arlan Fick and police First Sergeant Edelio Morínigo, who were kidnapped by the terrorist group the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP) in April and July of this year, respectively. Paraguayan military and police forces are using intelligence to try to locate and secure the safe release of Arlan Fick and police First Sergeant Edelio Morínigo, who were kidnapped by the terrorist group the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP) in April and July of this year, respectively. The EPP is still holding Fick even though his family has already paid a ransom for his release. In the video, Morínigo speaks first. In the Guaraní language, he addresses his remarks to his relatives, asking for calm and saying that he is in good health and has not been tortured or mistreated. Ransom paid On October 22, the EPP released a video showing that Fick and Morínigo were still alive. The two are shown at a campsite, surrounded by four EPP members who are armed and dressed in military uniforms, under a tent marked “People’s Jail.” “We are conducting our search efforts to locate where [the hostages] are in fact located. The strategy aims at intensifying our intelligence efforts,” said FTC Communications Chief Lt. Col. Víctor Urdapilleta. “We are seeing a way to get to them, preserving the hostages’ lives, which is the most important thing.” “You promised to free my son if I complied with your demands,” he said. last_img read more




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