Vermont Announces Annual Summer ‘Vermont Fuels Your Vacation’ Promotion

first_imgVermont Announces Annual Summer ‘Vermont Fuels Your Vacation’ PromotionMONTPELIER, Vt. – Governor Jim Douglas has announced that the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing will kick off its third annual fuel-themed tourism promotion to encourage visitors and Vermonters to explore the state this summer. “Vermont Fuels Your Vacation” is a 15-week promotion featuring a $100 gas card giveaway every week. Vermont residents and non-residents can register to win at www.VermontVacation.com/fuel(link is external) and gas cards may be used at participating gas stations in Vermont. Entries will be accepted from June 16 through late September with the first gas card giveaway drawing on June 23.”Vermont is well positioned geographically because it is within a 300-mile radius of more than 80 million people who may opt for shorter drives and closer destinations this summer,” said Governor Douglas.Six of ten (59 percent) Americans who are currently planning a trip with their car, truck or SUV this summer will not change their travel plans even with additional increases in the price of gas, according to the Travel Industry of America.Still, travel-related fuel promotions are continuing to grow in popularity. Established in 2006, the “Vermont Fuels Your Vacation” promotion received an average of 240 entries per week last summer. Several inns and lodging properties around the state are currently offering fuel-saving packages and gas card promotions to attract visitors as well.”The cost of gas continues to be a topic of concern for people, so this promotion is definitely a great way to attract visitors and encourage residents to explore all of the great things Vermont has to offer,” said Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Bruce Hyde. “The ‘Vermont Fuels Your Vacation’ clearly resonates with consumers and provides a positive twist on some of the constant coverage of rising fuel prices.”Visitors make an estimated total of 13.4 million trips to Vermont. Thirty-seven percent of those visitors come to Vermont during the summer, making it the busiest time of the year in terms of total visitors. Total direct spending by visitors adds an estimated $1.57 billion to the Vermont economy annually and supports more than 36,000 jobs for Vermonters.###last_img read more

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Know the Spot

first_imgWhen my fishing companions and I return each year to trout waters we’ve stalked for years, we slip easily and comfortably into a language and frame of reference specific to our experience in this place.  Sprawled under a tree streamside, gnawing on some fistful of lunch we’ve pawed from our fishing vests, we recount in that language the morning’s fishing and our plans for after we split up again and go in search of what the afternoon hatch will bring to the surface. Will the fish be where you left them last year?   This is intimacy.  Out of the flood of often inscrutable words swirling around us, intimacy may be what we seek.  To know a place so intimately, cherish it so fully, that it becomes so utterly interwoven with the pulse of your life it’s impossible to imagine that life otherwise.  And to do so would lead to nothing short of profound grief. The intimacy of waters. As with a beloved spouse or lover, we know where we will encounter the rough currents and where the waters will open out into smooth, placid pools.  We know if we caress that one spot with patience and wisdom, it will respond in an explosion of pleasure. We know of that one spot, so thrilling but so sensitive, we will be allowed only one cautious touch, if we dare. We know when to speak in carefully chosen words and when not to speak at all.  With such intimacy, the well-being of the beloved, be it lover or river, is contiguous with our own well-being. A condition never to be fouled, abused or taken for granted—always to be revered, respected, nurtured and loved. The comfort of home waters for fly fishing companions   After the ragged edges of winter have worn smooth and spring begins to unfold along the Blue Ridge, it’s time for that first trip of the season to a favorite trout stream, a trip marked by enthusiastic anticipation and wary trepidation.  Glad to be back in that stream you know like an old friend but anxious about what the winter has done. That tangle of leaves and branches clogging the tail of that crescent-shaped pool, the mess deposited by last winter’s run-off—will this winter’s run-off have been strong enough to clear it out?  That dying hemlock that for so many years has provided cover to the big trout in that wide, glassy pool—will it have finally come down, altering irrevocably the rhythm of life in that pool, for trout and angler alike? How many beer cans and barbecue grills will have been lodged along the bank, carried here in the winter run-off from backyard refuse heaps upstream?   Anglers often refer to such streams as “home waters,” those rivers and creeks fished so often, that we know so well they’ve become a part of our flesh, that our blood seems mingled with their waters.  When standing knee-deep in these waters, casting to a rising trout, our separate selves are no longer so. No longer contained within the boundary of our skin, we can reach beyond it. If we’re paying attention and we do it right, and if we’re a little lucky, the gap between domesticated human and wild river closes, one creature absorbing the other into itself.   “I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked, I am mad for it to be in contact with me.” –Walt Whitman James Keefe, a character in my novels, has a propensity to strip down to the buff occasionally and fish for his beloved brook trout in the nude, reciting the above words from Whitman when he does so.  To be clear, I’m not arguing for naked fishing as a method to achieve that intimacy of which I speak. Trout waters are cold, and the prospect of a trout stream dotted with the naked bodies of other anglers would be an unsettling sight, at the very least.  That, and it could scare the fish. But Keefe, for one, has taken Whitman at his word, following those words to their logical extreme, his practice the ritual enactment of that intimate connection with river and trout without which he could not survive, without which he might surely go mad. “Right there, where it shoots into the pool beside that pine snag that washed in there a couple years ago, that big back eddy under the outcropping. Big guy in there—hit so fast he was off and gone before I could set the hook.” “Must have been three or four good-sized browns holding in that pocket between those two strands of current.  Where that fawn waded in and walked right up to us that time. You know the spot.” Tim Poland is the author of two novels, Yellow Stonefly (Swallow Press/Ohio University Press, 2018) and The Safety of Deeper Water (Vandalia Press/West Virginia University Press, 2009).  He lives near the Blue Ridge in southwestern Virginia and is Professor Emeritus of English at Radford University. This cloud of metaphor aside, some anglers will say that, in the end, it’s about the fish.  Probably so. But still, for so many of us who wade into the middle of a river, wearing rubber pants and wagging a stick over our heads, the river, and the fish in it, lead us beyond the pounds and inches of the simple catch.  Fishing is the ritual enactment of that intimacy, to connect to time beyond the temporal, to place beyond the lines of maps, to speak to wildness in its native tongue. Fishing is, at heart, a narrative act—it’s a fiction, of course, but if we craft it, present it, and tell it well, make the simulation believable—if we tell the river a good story, the kind of story it waits to hear, a fish will rise. And with each pull of the line that draws the fish closer, the gap between us and that wildness we lack shrinks until, with patience and a little more luck, we’re granted the intimacy of contact with the wild fish in hand. And we do.  We know the spot.  Out of this snarl of esoteric, localized chatter, we understand each other with complete clarity.  We nod our heads in agreement and confirm each other’s reports with our own. “Yeah, sure—that’s a good pool—tricky casting with all the overhang, but some good fish there.”  Yes, we know the spot. “Took a nice rainbow in that pool up past the fork, where the current scoots along the left there, right by that old sycamore down along the bank.”last_img read more

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NASA certifies Elon Musk’s SpaceX to carry astronauts in Crew Dragon

first_imgNASA SpaceX spacecraft Crew Dragon “Resilience” on the launchpad ahead of the Crew-1 launch for NASA.SpaceX The National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Tuesday announced it certified SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket to carry astronauts to-and-from orbit, the first U.S. spacecraft certification by the agency since the space shuttle program nearly 40 years ago.The certification marks a historic milestone for both NASA and Elon Musk’s space company. NASA, under the Commercial Crew program, supplied most of the funding used to develop Crew Dragon over the last six years and conduct hundreds of tests.“Thank you to NASA for their continued support of SpaceX and partnership in achieving this goal,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a statement. “I could not be more proud of everyone at SpaceX and all of our suppliers who worked incredibly hard to develop, test, and fly the first commercial human spaceflight system in history to be certified by NASA. This is a great honor that inspires confidence in our endeavor to return to the Moon, travel to Mars, and ultimately help humanity become multi-planetary.”- Advertisement – Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world. – Advertisement – Ever since the space shuttle retired in 2011, the U.S. has paid Russia upwards of $80 million per seat to fly astronauts to the International Space Station. The SpaceX certification ends that reliance on Russia, and comes with an expected cost of about $55 million per astronaut. Additionally, as Boeing is also working to complete its Starliner capsule under the Commercial Crew program, NASA estimates that having two private companies compete for contracts saved the agency between $20 billion and $30 billion in development costs.“This certification milestone is an incredible achievement from NASA and SpaceX that highlights the progress we can make working together with commercial industry,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement. NASA’s certification came after the agency and SpaceX completed reviews ahead of the Crew-1 mission, currently scheduled to launch on Saturday from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission will see SpaceX’s rocket and spacecraft carry three NASA astronauts – Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker – as well as one Japanese astronaut – Soichi Noguchi – to the ISS, where they will spend six months conducting research and performing tasks.“This is a very exciting day for those of us that have been looking forward to this for a really long time,” NASA human spaceflight director Kathy Lueders told reporters after completing the Crew-1 reviews.The agency will also now be able to increase its continuous presence on the ISS to seven astronauts from six, allowing for more time to be spent on scientific research and experimentation.“NASA’s partnership with American private industry is changing the arc of human spaceflight history by opening access to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station to more people, more science and more commercial opportunities,” NASA commercial spaceflight director Phil McAlister said. “We are truly in the beginning of a new era of human spaceflight.”Crew-1 comes about five months after SpaceX successfully completed its Demo-2 flight, which carried NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on the company’s first ever crewed mission and final Crew Dragon test flight. The Crew-1 mission comes with additional milestones for SpaceX, as it marks the beginning of regular astronaut missions for the company. Between its Crew Dragon and Cargo Dragon spacecraft, SpaceX expects to have a continuous presence in space moving forward.“Starting with cargo mission CRS-21, every time we launch a Dragon there will be two dragons in space, simultaneously, for extended periods of time,” SpaceX senior director Benji Reed said on Tuesday. From left to right, NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

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2013 Cowbell Bike Tour (Stage 2): Big names on podium in Takoradi

first_imgAfter a successful arrangement of traffic details and a slight change of the tour route for stage 2, (85km Cape Coast to Takoradi) which is traditionally plagued with difficulties in traffic control, the tour saw a fiery start, from the University of Cape Coast main gate to the finish line at Sarbah Road, Takoradi.Despite the intensity of attacks and counter attacks by the riders, the hotly contested race ended without any motor incidents and injury casualties as in the previous edition (2012).“This was a combative race, and it is what we need in Ghana to step up the level”, said George Ado, Chief Commassire of the Tour.Young Stars dictated the pace of the race immediately the officials flagged the cyclists into action. However, Emmanuel Sackey of All Stars had other ideas as to who dictates the early pace of the peloton.He quickly kicked out of the bunch with a 100m lead, but a group of young stars riders decided to closely follow. John Zormelo, a veteran rider, who rides for Quick Steps also wanted to lead, so he burst out of the peloton as they all engaged in series of attacks and counter attacks until they reached Elmina Beach Resort junction.After passing Elmina, Samuel Anim and his team mates took the lead, as his team mates formed a wind break around him to reduce the pressure on him. The lead of Young Stars and their ‘El Capo’ was short lived, as the peloton was reunited at Bronybima. Almost all the teams relied on the attack and counter attack strategy to weaken each other and test each other’s physical strength and endurance ahead of the first ‘Point chaud’.As the bunch came within reach of the ‘Hot Spot’ (point Chaud), at Essaman Junction, where points are awarded, Samuel Anim kicked out of the bunch to the other side of the road to enable him sprint without impediment, Isaac Sackey was quick to follow his team leader but Emmanuel Sackey of all stars was hot on their heels. Anim had enough power in his legs than the latter to clinch the first ‘point chaud’.Zormelo, the veteran rider, who would be retiring this year, tried his luck again by immediately attacking after the first hotspot, which was 14km into the race. The old fox tried as hard as he could to breakaway, but his efforts yielded no dividend. He was swallowed by the bunch just 1km into his adventure.The more energetic Godwin Dzheha of City Migro succeeded in breaking away at Nyame B3kyere but his lead ended at Enyinase by Christian Adiabo, Moro Amadu and Samuel Anim, all from Young Stars.At Komenda, 27km into the race, Jerry Alormenu (City Migro) started a promising burst out of the Peloton but it lasted only 2km before the bunch caught up with him. Finally, at Kommenda Sewfi the peloton split into two. Victor Cudjoe, All Stars, a strong contender for the white Jersey, led the first peloton. They tried their best to chase down Jerry but he retained his lead by kicking harder. Nevertheless, a kilometer later Solomon Nartey (HM Cycling) broke out of the peloton, he emerged as the new leader.At the second hot spot (Beposo), Samuel Anim, Emmanuel Sackey and Aryittey Akoto (City Migro), broke away from the bunch, swallowed Solomon and sprinted to first, second and third positions respectively.The attacks and counter attacks continued until 50km into the race, when the raised green flag by the officials, signaled the commencement of feeding.Prosper Agbo (City Mirgro), an experienced rider; Christian Adiabo (Young Star’s assistant captain) and Joseph Kudakpo (Die Hard) broke away from the bunch with a gap of 300m. This was the longest sustained break away of the day.As the big three broke away, they worked together to maintain a fast and steady pace upfront, even though they represented different teams. 60km into the race, Christian fell and had to change his bike, eventually the peloton swallowed him.Straightaway after Christian’s fall, Joseph and Prosper kicked harder, to keep their lead.8km later, hell broke loose on Prosper, his front tire got punctured.Being the lone ranger up front, Joseph knew glory was within his reach as they approached Takoradi Police Station. The Peloton roared behind him and closed the gap to 100m.With 50m to end the race, Joseph kept peeping behind, he ‘hit the wall’ and subsequently fell prey to Samuel Anim, Tetteh Francis (city Migro’s lead Rider), Henry Tetteh Djamah (Defending Champion), Adan Mohammed (River Pack Sunyani) and Aminu Mohammed (National Cycling Team Captain). They all emerged from the peloton 50m to end the race and over took Joseph, who could only watch helplessly as they passed him. “I miscalculated the race but I’ll correct that tomorrow” Joseph said looking disappointed.At the end of Stage 2, Samuel Anim won his second stage victory of the tour thus far. He kept the Yellow, Green and Red Jersey he won the previous day. Tetteh Djanmah placed third closely behind Francis Tetteh, who came in second.Antony Boakye continued to keep his white jersey for his exploits as the best young rider so far.Stage 3 is the longest distance of the entire tour (145km: Assin-Fosu to Kumasi)last_img read more

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