Vermont Business Center Graduation

first_imgWhat do chiropractors, bankers, doctors, and entrepreneurs all have in common? They come from diverse professions and educational backgrounds, but on the evening of June 13, they all gathered at UVM’s Waterman Hall to celebrate a common milestone. For the second year since its inception, graduates of UVM’s Vermont Business Center Leadership and Management Professional Certificate Program celebrated completion of the yearlong program.Program director Daniel Van Der Vliet launched the program in 2004 and 9 students completed it this year. Designed to provide an MBA “toolkit”, the program provides topical highlights from the University of Vermont’s MBA curriculum. Students choose seminars from 4 core areas: leadership, strategy implementation, sales and marketing, and finance.Bryan Mailman of New Breed Marketing is a member of the 2007 graduating class. Says Mailman, “Bringing a group of professionals together, and stripping all the titles and previous education away, so that everyone in the group is learning at the same level is very powerful. Not only did we all get to share the common threads of our business experiences, but the program also expanded our networking circles. For me, this program was energizing and got me thinking about taking my business education a little further.”This year’s graduates are:* Jonathan Billings, Northwestern Medical Center, St. Albans* Christopher Byrne, The Tuckerman Group, Chelsea* Dan Eastman, Wildlife Habitat Consultants, East Hardwick* Jill Larson, Discover Wellness and Chiropractic Center, Burlington* Bryan Mailman, New Breed Marketing, Winooksi* Laurence McCahill, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington* Catherine Krupp, University of Vermont Continuing Education Department, Burlington* Penny Peachey-Kountz, IBM, Essex Junction* Stephen Page, Northfield Savings Bank, NorthfieldAbout the Leadership and Management Professional Certificate Program:A joint venture between the University of Vermont School of Business Administration and Department of Continuing Education, The Leadership and Management Professional Certificate provides students with business management tools including the key concepts, vocabulary and analytical tools essential for effective management and strategic decision making. The certificate consists of a total of 67.5 hours of course work. Most students complete the 8 workshops required for graduation in a year. For more information, visit the Vermont Business Center’s web site at is external) or call Sharon Radtke, Administrative Coordinator, at (802) 656-4681.last_img read more

Governor Douglas to announce $1.6 million in Grant Awards

first_imgGovernor Douglas to announce $1.6 million in Grant AwardsFive Communities to Receive Funds for Housing, Economic Development ProjectsWHO: Governor Jim DouglasWHAT: Press ConferenceWHY: To announce $1.6 million in community development grants to 5 municipalitiesWHERE: 85 Kate Street, off Lily Pond Road within Maple Ridge Mobile Home Park, LyndonvilleWHEN: Tuesday, December 16th 12:30 p.m.LYNDONVILLE, Vt. – Helping Vermonters in affordable housing in Vermont stay in their homes and make them more energy efficient will be the goal as Governor Jim Douglas on Tuesday will announce the award of $1.6 million in community development grants to five communities.The following communities will be receiving grants:Town of LyndonTown of West RutlandCity of RutlandTown of KillingtonTown of BenningtonA brief reception with light refreshments will follow at Gilman Housing Trust offices at 48 Elm Street in Lyndonville.NOTE: If weather is considerably inclement a decision will be made before 8:30 a.m. to relocate the full ceremony to Gilman Housing Trust offices.For further information on the event please contact Josh Hanford, VCDP Director at (802) 828-5201.Directions:Ceremony Location – Customer site – 85 Kate Street – Lyndonville· Exit 23 off of I-91; Follow Route 5 into downtown Lyndonville (approximately 1.3 miles);· At the intersection of Route 5/Broad Street ( just past the Depot Coffee Shop) turn right onto Depot Street;· Shortly after, turn left onto High Street; and follow High Street staying to the right (approximately half a mile)· High Street merges onto Hill Street, follow Hill Street until the intersection of Lily Pond Road (approximately 1 mile);· Turn right onto Lily Pond Road and follow for approximately 9/10th a mile;· Turn left onto Kate Street, #85 will be on the left.Reception/ Inclement Location – Gilman Housing Trust, 48 Elm Street, Lyndonville· Follow directions backwards towards the town of Lyndonville· Follow Hill Street directly down to Route 5/Broad Street (approximately 1 mile);· Turn right onto Route 5/Broad Street;· Turn left onto Central Street;· Turn right onto Elm Street;· Parking will be on the street.last_img read more

Shumlin says despite “rumblings” in the Legislature, he will stay the no new taxes course

first_imgby Anne Galloway is external)What does $190 million in tax breaks for Vermont’s wealthiest residents have to do with the state’s yawning budget deficit of $176 million? Not much at the moment, but if two Progressives in the Legislature have their way, income-earners who are in the top tax brackets will have an opportunity make a personal contribution to the budget-gap reduction effort.CORRECTION: The top income-earners in Vermont will save $190 million in 2011 alone, not over a two-year period as previously reported.In January, the Public Assets Institute issued a report showing that 5 percent of Vermonters ‘ those who earn more than $200,000 a year ‘ stand to save $190 million under the extension of President George W. Bush’s tax cuts. The top 1 percent of Vermont income-earners will see a $100 million reduction in their taxes in 2011, according to the Montpelier-based Institute.The giveaway to the nation’s wealthiest residents was slated to sunset last year. President Barack Obama and the Congress carried forward the tax breaks through 2013.Rep. Chris Pearson, P-Burlington, and Sen. Anthony Pollina, D/P-Washington, plan to introduce a bill at a press conference (Thursday) (1:30 p.m. in the Cedar Creek Room) that would raise about $17 million through a small tax increase on the wealthiest 5 percent of Vermonters.The money, Pollina said, could go toward programs for elderly, disabled and mentally ill Vermonters that are currently under Gov. Peter Shumlin’s budget knife.By day’s end on Wednesday, 10 House members had signed onto Pearson’s bill. ‘There is an understanding that most Vermonters don’t support the Bush tax cuts, and we’re in tough budget times,’ Pearson said.The average personal income of those in the top 1 percent tax bracket is about $940,000, according to PAI. Vermonters in the top 5 percent group will see a reduction in federal taxes over the in 2011 of $150,000 on average as matters stand now.Under the Pearson-Pollina plan, however, wealthy taxpayers would contribute an additional $10,000 a year on average for income of more than $373,650 a year and an additional $500 a year for Vermonters who earn between $171,850 and $373,650, according to Pollina. The effective rate, Pollina said, would increase 0.8 percent for Vermonters in the highest bracket, and 0.2 percent for those who fall in the 0.2 percent tier.‘People have received significant tax cuts on the federal level,’ Pollina said. ‘We’re not increasing taxes. We’re asking the wealthy to take slightly less of the Bush tax cuts.’The bill will be introduced just one day before the final cutoff for new legislation.Pollina described the increase as ‘slight.’ Wealthy Vermonters will still be able to buy yachts, he said. ‘It’s not a broad-based tax,’ Pollina said.Whether the bill will be politically viable is an open question. At a Senate caucus on Tuesday night, Pollina said ‘the majority of Democrats supported it in their hearts.’Pollina said the majority of Democrats backed the congressional delegation’s opposition to the Bush tax cut extension when it was first debated. ‘Anyone who supported Leahy, Sanders and Welch should support this,’ the newly elected senator said.Don’t count on the Democratic leadership, however, to be among them ‘ at least for the time being. Gov. Peter Shumlin, House Speaker Shap Smith and Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell continue to beat the budget-cut drum and oppose broad-based tax increases ‘ despite the ‘rumblings’ in the Legislature about new tax revenues, as Shumlin put it. This rank-and-file discomfort with the budget was to be expected, according to the governor and the legislative leaders. The governor then went on to defend his own cuts to programs and reiterated that he would not raise taxes to pay for services for the elderly, the disabled and mentally ill.In his weekly press conference, the governor chastised Congress for cuts to funding for the low-income heating assistance program, Head Start, community action councils and Planned Parenthood. ‘We spend more on bombs than we do on hungry children,’ Shumlin said.Shumlin said the federal government can raise income taxes on the wealthy without fear that they’ll leave the country. On the other hand, he said, states like Vermont are vulnerable to out-migration. (The Vermont Blue Ribbon Tax Structure Commission recently debunked the anecdotal stories about the out-migration notion as ‘myth’ in its January report.)‘We all know Vermont is not an island,’ Shumlin said. ‘We all know people will pay a certain amount of tax on the state level, and when those taxes are disproportionate to those in neighboring states, they migrate.’Shumlin said wealthy Vermonters already pay higher marginal tax rates (8.95 percent) than their neighbors in other New England states. The federal government should be raising taxes, he said, on the wealthiest Americans ‘who are paying the lowest taxes in anytime in American history.’ The state, however, ‘doesn’t have the flexibility to do that,’ he said, ‘because we all know New Hampshire is to our East and Florida isn’t far away.‘We all know we have a very progressive income tax in Vermont, and I’m proud of that,’ Shumlin said. ‘I helped write the tax code that keeps it progressive. The wealthiest should pay the most. But when you get up around 9 percent, frankly you start to lose more than you’re making.’Vermont’s tax rates are tiered. The 8.95 percent rate is applied only to income above $373,500 ‘ taxpayers pay much lower rates on income below that level. The top marginal rate does not include itemized deductions. The average effective rate, or the amount actually paid by Vermonters after deductions, is about 3 percent.When it was pointed out that the effective income tax rate for wealthy Vermonters is 5.8 percent on average ‘ once deductions such as second homes have been included in the equation ‘ Shumlin asked where the reporter got her numbers and remarked that they couldn’t be right. (The information came from the Tax Department and was promulgated in the Vermont Blue Ribbon Tax Structure report.)‘I don’t buy the argument that they’re paying 5 percent,’ Shumlin said. ‘I happen to have been one of those taxpayers, and I can tell you I don’t know how they pay 5 percent.‘All I can tell you is, New Hampshire has a rate of zero, Florida has a rate of zero; that’s who we compete with,’ Shumlin said. ‘I can take you to any county in Vermont and introduce you to Vermonters who are no longer Vermonters, and we need to find the balance between how we can keep them here and pay our bills. Anyone who tells me we are not close to the precipice in terms of what we can ask Vermonters to pay in income taxes I just think isn’t really looking at the facts.’Republican Gov. James Douglas made similar arguments over the course of his eight-year tenure in office.‘My predecessor was right about some things,’ Shumlin said.‘We’re in a situation where we have the federal government abandoning the state when it comes to social services,’ Campbell said. ‘Are we going to let people freeze in the winter and take away care for women?’Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell said the Legislature doesn’t have enough information to determine whether it should raise taxes or not. The recently announced federal budget cuts, which, if passed, could go into effect in the last quarter of this fiscal year, would have an impact on how the state moves forward with its own budget. In the context of those reductions in state spending, the senator said, he would consider a tax increase on the wealthy.As far as the governor’s budget is concerned, Campbell remains committed to putting ‘everything on the chopping block.’House Speaker Shap Smith said he isn’t surprised that Pearson has proposed a bill to increase income taxes for wealthy Vermonters. Smith said he isn’t unwilling to consider a tax increase (he supported estate and capital gains tax increases in 2009) but at this point, lawmakers need more time to determine whether that’s necessary this session. ‘We have been working hard to scrub the budget and find out where the holes are,’ Smith said. is external) February 24, 2011last_img read more

e-Vermont active in 24 rural communities

first_imgThe e-Vermont Community Broadband Project, led by VCRD, is now active in 24 Vermont rural communities. The towns are tapping into the expertise and resources of e-Vermont’s statewide partners as the local groups develop ways to take full advantage of the Internet for creating jobs and innovative schools, providing social services, and increasing community connection. These towns, selected from a larger pool of applicants, are among the first to explore how the Internet can be harnessed as a tool for addressing local challenges. ‘We’re working with rural communities to support the best use of high speed Internet tools in business, government, and education, and help eliminate the digital divide,’ says Project Director Helen Labun Jordan, ‘Rural regions can’t be left behind in digital skills. We may be receiving high speed Internet later than more urban areas, but e-Vermont is helping our towns make up for lost time.’e-Vermont is one of only twelve projects nationwide to have received first round funding from the federal Sustainable Broadband Adoption grants program and one of only two that takes a community-based approach. This program focuses on use of broadband after infrastructure has been developed, as both a complement to infrastructure funding and a way to build a better business case for broadband in previously underserved areas.The 2010 towns (see map) are already seeing great benefits, including:Sunderland – Arlington – Sandgate are adding technology to the celebration of their 250th Town Charter Anniversaries in 2011. High school community service students will create a website based on the historical holdings of Martha Canfield Library’s Russell Vermontiana Collection. Learn more.Gallup Brook Fencing, a small business in Cambridge, has the honor of being the first of many web sites to come that were launched with the help of e-Vermont and its partner the Vermont Small Business Development Corporation. Owners Troy and Jessica Steel worked with SBDC coordinator Pat Ripley on the design and content. To see the result, click here or read an online interview with the Troys.Five towns (Bristol, Ludlow, Poultney, Newport and West Rutland) are exploring the feasibility of creating public access Wi-Fi zones in their town centers in order to promote their communities and provide visitors with information about local events, services, entertainment and hospitality. These towns were originally inspired by Wireless Woodstock, a community-managed Wi-Fi zone that went live over the summer.last_img read more

World Bank Bets on Renewables Boom in India

first_imgWorld Bank Bets on Renewables Boom in India FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Global Trade Review:The World Bank is to provide US$100mn in funding for renewable energy projects in India’s booming market.The development bank will provide US$98mn in debt to the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), which will on-lend the money to states in India for solar projects. A further US$2mn will be available in grants.IREDA has already earmarked 750MW and 250MW solar parks in the Madhya Pradesh region, as it looks to move towards India’s national renewable energy target of 175GW of output by 2022.India’s renewables market is viewed as one of the world’s most promising. A recent report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) predicted a dramatic market share gain by renewable energy, with a sustained deflation in renewable tariffs.Over the past two years tariffs have fallen by 50%, with a record low solar energy tariff of the equivalent of US$38 per MWh being reached this year. This, the institute finds, will result in peak coal being reached by 2027, at no more than 10% above current levels.“A combination of India’s ambitious energy policy and ongoing solar and wind energy tariff deflation will enable India to catalyse US$200-US$300bn of investment in renewable energy infrastructure over the coming decade. Improvements in energy efficiency and reduction in technical and commercial losses will deliver better electricity production per coal tonnage. To conclude, the transformation will ensure India to support its economic growth while keeping greenhouse gas emissions in check,” says Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies at the IEEFA.World Bank to fund Indian renewable energylast_img read more

Australian pension fund Cbus targets carbon-heavy coal and gas investments

first_imgAustralian pension fund Cbus targets carbon-heavy coal and gas investments FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:Construction and mining industry super fund Cbus says it will slash emissions from its investments by 45% within the next 10 years, putting carbon-intensive companies on notice that they will need to demonstrate how they will cut greenhouse gas emissions in order to stay within the fund’s $54bn portfolio. Cbus has also expanded an existing pledge to hit the Paris agreement target of zero emissions by 2050 in its property and infrastructure investments to cover its entire portfolio.Its chief investment officer, Kristian Fok, stopped short of ruling out any investment in new thermal coalmining but said any such business would face an extremely high hurdle to attract Cbus’s money.“I’m not going to rule out anything, but the hurdles are going to be so high for these things, because the way we would see it is that it would have to be highly competitive against the alternatives,” he said. “Basically, we now have a [carbon] budget in our portfolio, so it would have to be more compelling than something else.”Institutional investors such as pension and superannuation funds have been ratcheting up the pressure on big emitters, such as mining companies, to slash their carbon output.In April, Norway’s US$1.1tn Government Pension Fund Global, one of the world’s biggest investors, put BHP on notice that it needed to get out of thermal coal or the fund would dump its stock in the company. At the same time, it announced it had sold its stake in Australian energy company AGL, which owns coal-fired power stations including the carbon-intensive Liddell plant in New South Wales.Asked if Cbus would be willing to take shares in a BHP coal spin-off, Fok said the new framework wouldn’t stop the fund from doing so. “But what it does make us look very carefully at is what price we’re paying for it,” he said. “In relation to thermal coal, we would look at it in relation to the global economy. But it’s quite clear the lifecycle of thermal coal is shorter than the next fossil fuel, which is gas – but the lifecycle of gas is shorter than what it used to be as well.”[Ben Butler]More: Construction and mining industry super fund puts carbon-intensive companies on noticelast_img read more

Spring Fever

first_imgSpring is upon us. Maybe the official date is still a couple of weeks away, but the blooming daffodils, flirtatious robins, and warm breeze in the air tell me that I’ve survived another long dark winter (not that this was one to complain about). Shedding the gloves and taking advantage of the increasing daylight hours, I find my thoughts drifting ahead to the upcoming race season. What will 2012 bring?Developing a race schedule can be a challenge. Flipping through the race calendars in magazines and online, I realize that the possibilities are endless. How will I ever choose where to focus my dreams and goals? I must find some way to narrow it down.There are many factors to consider – will there be one big goal race or lots of smaller challenges? Do I want to focus on pavement or dirt? Go for endurance or work on my speed? Fortunately, I’m not a multisport athlete like so many of my friends – I don’t have to choose between bi’s and tri’s – biking or running – not to mention kayaks and swimming.How about travel? Do I want to stick with local events or go big and mix it up with West Coast competition? Would it be fun to pick an event and train with a group of friends? Do I want to shoot for PRs at events I’ve already run, or expand my horizons with brand new adventures? And speaking of adventures, maybe an organized event isn’t in the cards this year. How about a solo run across the Smokies or returning to take care of unfinished business in Shenandoah National Park?Then there are the quirky goals: finally get up the courage to run a naked 5k, or maybe attempt another open-water swimming event, this time without experiencing a panic attack in the middle of the lake.Here in the Southeast, we’re blessed with more opportunities for outdoor challenges and adventures than one can squeeze into one season – or one lifetime. We’re only limited by our imagination. What does this spring season hold in store for you? Aim high and dream big!last_img read more

Hand to Hand Combat with a Bear

first_imgI had a new experience today. I fought for my life.I got to Portage Chute, shortly after noon. It had been a splendid morning with plenty of current to speed me along. This stretch of the Churchill is wide, shallow, fast and studded with gardens of large, dark, looming rock. I maneuvered amidst these monoliths all morning, playing and dodging and showing off to myself, pretending I had nitroglycerin on board which would explode with the slightest jar, and seeing how close I could pass by or over an obstacle without hitting it. I was enjoying myself.Pewter SunMy GPS didn’t think I was quite to Portage Chute. It’s still 1.11 miles downstream, it was telling me but I knew better. This was Portage Chute, beyond all doubt. Narrow defile? Check. Increased grade and velocity? Check. Check. Flecks of foam popping up downstream? Sure ‘nuff. Deafening roar? That’s a big 10-4. I was there.mountain-gazette-bear1I took out on river left where the Churchill broadens into a small bight, beached the canoe and headed downriver to scout. There were boulders scattered all over, like a toddler’s toys. Portaging would be hell. Two hundred yards in, I came to a major obstacle, a scarp, only eight feet high, but sheer. Getting the canoe and gear up and over it would take some doing, the kind of doing I didn’t want to do. I scaled the wall and emerged onto a broad bench, blanketed with low shrubs and clumped with slips of cottonwood.I recognized some of the shrubs as buffalo berry, adorned with clusters of small red fruits. Across the bench, fifty feet away, the Churchill pounded through Portage Chute and I headed over to check it out, hoping it wouldn’t look as bad as it sounded. A rim of pale red rock stood twenty feet above the river and lined it up and down, giving me a great view of the rapid.I had already pretty much made up my mind to run it, even before scouting, because the portage was going to be a Bitch (note capital ‘B’), but there wasn’t a great line. Getting through without swimming would be iffy because of several large breaking waves strewn pell-mell across the river that could swamp or roll the boat. There was no way to miss them alI. And there were rocks aplenty too, which I’d have to miss, but I took comfort in seeing that the river below deepened and slowed, providing a reasonably good recovery area, so, in the event of a water landing, all the flotsam, including the canoe, any unsecured gear, and I could be reunited in calmer water and, after some sputtering, bailing and sponging, returned to a fully upright and undamaged state. I studied the rapid a bit more, picked a line, ran it a couple of times in my mind’s eye, and started back.I was crossing the bench through the buffalo berry and almost to the lip of the scarp when I noticed movement in my periphery. The bear that almost ate meSomething big and black and blurry. I turned to look and was incredulous to see a large black bear, only forty feet away, approaching with obvious ill intent. It was moving with deliberation, mouth open, head low, black eyes unwavering—locked on mine.I had been dreaming of a true wilderness experience and here it was: Mother Nature, telling me, So you want real wilderness? Here you go, sonny. For what could be more real or more wild than an animal coming to eat you? I was prey, calories, for a large omnivore that was sick and tired of grass and berries and roots. My shotgun and bear spray were in the canoe, 200 yards away. I would have to stand and fight with the only weapons I had, my bare hands.There was no time to be afraid. The bear was closing in. Only seconds remained. Some long dormant survival instinct took over and I transformed from mild mannered Nature Boy into Conan the Barbarian in a nanosecond (ok, exaggeration). A klaxon blared in my brain. Every cell in my body scrambled to battle stations. I was not aware of wind or cold. The crash of water through the nearby rapid drew silent. Every fiber of my being was focused on the bear.It approached with a dispassionate malevolence, as if to say, Hey. This isn’t personal, just business. Some things are killed and eaten so that other things can live to kill and eat another day. But predators don’t always get their prey. Sometimes, the prey gets away. Sometimes the predator gets hurt. We quarry are not completely helpless. We can kick, maybe break a jaw, butt, gouge and bite, put a hurtin on ya, even inflict mortal wounds, so the prudent predator will approach cautiously, especially with unfamiliar, larger prey, to assess the risks, prior to going in for the kill.That’s exactly what my bear was doing, coming on slowly to take my measure, ponder the risks verses rewards, and then decide whether to attack or withdraw. I doubt this animal had ever seen a human before. We were in the most remote portion of the Churchill, no roads or villages anywhere close, no trails, fish camps or cabins, and inaccessible to motorboats and float planes because of all the rocks and shallows. The bear could not know, what exactly was I, and just how dangerous might I be?My only hope lay in exploiting this uncertainty, make the bear think I was some psycho in search of a rug. I couldn’t run. He’d shag me down in a heartbeat, swat me to the ground, rake and bite me while I screamed, shake me like a rag doll while I whimpered, and then begin to tug and tear off chunks of flesh while I quietly moaned. If I played dead, I’d last only slightly longer than if I ran, and it wouldn’t be quality time. My only play was to be aggressive, fool the bear into thinking that I was biggest badass this side of Fidler Lake.“Get away you Mother Fucker!”, I screamed, but there was no discernible reaction. Nothing. On it came, walking, watching, not making a sound. Only twenty feet away now. I charged it with arms held high, trying to look bigger, and snarling invective through barred teeth. “COCKSUCKER!” I yelled. “MOTHER FUCKER!”No change in attitude.The bear was right next to me now, close enough to touch. It began to circle, close in, from right to left. I began to hit it, punching it in the head and face with neoprene gloved hands. “Good God!” I thought, “I just hit a bear. Is this really happening?”It was. I was really fighting a bear. As it turned, I turned with it to keep its head to my front, constantly throwing punches. My left jabs were weak, ineffectual, glancing blows, but I landed a couple of hard rights to the side of its enormous head which caused a momentary pause before the circling resumed. Near the end of its circumnavigation, I hauled off and kicked it in the ribs just behind the left leg. I was only wearing soft rubber boating booties, hardly more than slippers, but I kicked as hard as I could.This seemed to surprise the bear and it stopped circling and rose up, apparently indignant over such boorish behavior. I’m 6’4” and 185 pounds. The bear was half a head taller, but on the lean side. I doubt it weighed more than 250 pounds, but skinny meant hungry and hungry meant dangerous. Its paws were held high, claws outstretched and I expected to be cuffed at any moment, but the bear just stood there, as if newly uncrated from the taxidermist.We stood, facing each other like dancers, unsure, waiting for the music to start. Then it suddenly dawned on me. I had a knife. Holy shit! It hung inverted from a sheath affixed to my life jacket. I’d forgotten all about it. It was only a four inch blade and the only thing it had ever cut was cheese, but I drew it forth with a flourish and brandished it at the bear.“I have a knife!” I bellowed, to myself in surprise, to the bear in warning. The tables had turned, whatever that means. Still, the thought of stabbing this creature with the little blade was cold comfort. I did not want to hurt it, or aggravate it, and feared that once the stabbing started, this fight was going to get ugly for real. So there we stood, two statues cast in enmity, knife out, claws up, a Mexican standoff if ever there was one. I ended it, taking several quick steps backwards to the lip of the ledge, then whirled and bounded down the wall with the speed of a mountain goat, but not the agility.Halfway down I slipped and had to jump the final four feet to the basin below. I landed hard, tried to catch myself with lunging steps, but fell, sprawled out on hands and knees. My right hand, still gripping the knife, lit almost directly upon a fist sized hunk of rock, smooth, near round, granite. A gift. I transferred the knife to my left hand, snatched up rock in my right, and sprang to my feet with improbable dexterity for someone of my age and decrepitude, then I spun around to see if the bear had given chase.There it was, just ten feet away. The motherfucking thing had followed me down the wall. It stopped when I turned, looked at me, not directly this time, but obliquely and with menace. I faced it, edgewise, like a fencer, knife extended, and the rock, locked and loaded behind. This was it. The moment of truth.“Look bear” I implored, “I don’t want to stab you with this knife or hit you with this rock, but you have to leave right now.” The words were barely out of my mouth when the bear made up his mind, and it wasn’t to leave. The big head swung up and he came at me. I let him have it, heaving the rock with all my might.Funny. Ever since dislocating my right shoulder in a kayaking mishap twenty years ago, I haven’t been able to put any umph into an overhand throw. Before the injury I could hurl hard, be it baseball, football or rock, but, ever since, I throw like a girl, all arm and no shoulder. Not this time. Adrenaline is a miracle drug and with a surfeit of it coursing through my veins, I unloosed the rock. It sailed, trailing flame, and smacked into the bear’s skull right between the ears. It landed with a loud crunch, rock scraping bone, an awful noise normally but sweet music under the circumstances.The bear vanished in a blur, hunger pangs replaced by headache. I ran in the opposite direction, hotfooting it to the canoe, where I quickly hoisted the shotgun in one hand and bear spray in the other.“Hey asshole!” I bellowed. “You want a piece of me? Well come on you chicken shit and I’ll spray you right in the kisser.” I heard nothing but the hiss of wind and water, and blood pounding in my ears. Then I started laughing like a lunatic.Once I returned to a semblance of normal, I decided not to tempt the fates further by running Portage Chute. I figured all my lucky charms were cashed in for the day. What if I dumped and ended up on the left side of the river? The bear’s side. I had no desire for round two with the bruin so I pushed off and clawed my way upstream a couple of hundred yards, far enough up so I wouldn’t be swept down into the rapid, and ferried to the right shore. There was no channel on this side, just a jumble of huge rocks through which the river poured over, around or through. I dragged the canoe past the obstacles, abusing it in myriad ways, but I got down. Then I returned to the canoe for lunch, my favorite, peanut butter on rye crisp with turkey jerky. As I smacked down these delectables, thinking about my improbable victory and narrow escape from the literal jaws of death, I glanced across the river and saw a hairy hump moving through the vegetation opposite.“Hey bear!” I shouted and the hump stopped, turned, and the bear emerged onto the rim where I had scouted the rapid a lifetime ago. It peered across at me with a puzzled expression, then turned and walked out of sight. “Good luck to you bear” I called after it, and meant it.Hanging in the wildsLater at camp, I poured myself a big 151 rum and sipped it thoughtfully. I was in a contemplative mood, totally drained, and numbed, but euphoric. mountain-gazette-bear3I marveled at the days events. I fought a bear and I won. I knew it was mostly luck, that I was lucky to be alive. I have always been lucky. Lucky in my parents, my friends, health, choices. Lucky in love.I have learned to trust in luck, but this was more luck than anyone deserved. I was lucky the bear wasn’t bigger. Lucky he wasn’t more confident. Lucky he didn’t swat or bite me. Lucky, I walked away without a scratch save for a small scrape on my knee sustained when I crash-landed below the ledge. But that was lucky too, because if I hadn’t fallen I would not have found that rock. It was the rock that saved me.Strange, but there are almost no loose rocks along this portion of the Churchill River. I wasn’t even looking for a rock, it just materialized, found me. Now, I am not in any way suggesting divine intervention. As far as I’m concerned Jesus would have been more inclined to send the bear than provide the rock. Luck gave me the rock and luck guided the throw that nailed the bear right where I needed to bean him. A shot to the shoulder wouldn’t have done it. And it was luck that the bear didn’t think, “Ouch, my head hurts, but fuck it, I’m going to eat him anyway.”So I drank my rum and thought about the day, August 3, 2012, the day I had to fight a bear. I kicked its ass and lived. I love living.—This article, an excerpt from Jonathan Klein’s upcoming book on wilderness, was originally featured in the Mountain Gazette. Klein worked as a wilderness ranger and manager in Montana’s Lee Metcalf Wilderness for 27 years before retiring in 2012. Three days after leaving the Forest Service, he departed on a 700-mile solo canoe trip on Canada’s Churchill River, seeking a purer strain of wilderness than can be found in the lower 48—where the furthest one can get from a Micky D’s is 104 miles and the farthest from a road, a mere 30. Klein lives in Ennis, Mont., where he spends his time pedaling, paddling, and planning his next adventure to wild places.last_img read more

Into the Woods Festival Ticket and Camping Giveaway!

first_imgFirst Name: Last Name: Email*: Phone Number: Address*: City*: State*: ALAKAZARCACOCTDCDEFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPARISCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYZip Code*: I certify that I am over the age of 18.* denotes required field Legendary music venue, Charleston Pour House, presents Into the Woods Music Festival on October 4-6, 2019. Discover a new world in the 6,000 acre Charleston, SC live oak forest with lakeside camping, 20+ bands, kayaks, SUPs, yoga, craft beer, local food & more.Enter below for 2 free tickets and camping passes!last_img

Let the Open Road Lead You to Clarksville

first_imgIt’s no surprise that Virginia’s Lake Region is a natural choice for camping: the lakefront scenery and water activities draw visitors from across the country every year. The many public parks in the area make camping easy, safe and affordable for everyone. Whether you’re interested in fishing, hiking, boating, horseback riding, canoeing or just relaxing and enjoying the view, there’s a campsite with your name on it. Beyond the shores of Buggs Island Lake there are many opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast, including golfing, hiking, hunting, visitor/educational centers and picnicking. Not much for the outdoors? Than explore the abundance of history our town & area has to tell, visit the area museums, plantations & walking tour. Or stop & shop the many one-of-a-kind stores in our great town. Clarksville is at the heart of it all. Camping Ready for a road trip? Need to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life or just need to find your next getaway? Let your sense and Love of Wander drive you to discover Clarksville on the Lake. Virginia’s Lake Region is blessed with a great climate for golf: temperate weather with an average temperature of 65° allows for golfing 9-10 months out of the year. The region is also blessed with great terrain: the same geological processes that created the rivers in the area smoothed out the land, but didn’t completely flatten it. The result is one golf-friendly region, with some of the state’s finest courses. Kerr Lake is an incredibly popular fishing spot: anglers spend an estimated 900,000 hours fishing at Kerr Lake each year (for reference, 900,000 hours is more than 103 years!). The 48,900-acre lake is known for the number and size of its fish: striped and largemouth bass, blue, channel and flathead catfish, crappie and perch are plentiful. Buggs Island Lake is also one of Virginia’s best places to catch crappie. center_img Cover photo by Justin Eubank The lake offers some of the best fishing on the East Coast and is a haven for outdoor recreation including boating, sailing, skiing, and swimming. Wildlife is plentiful along the 800 miles of wooded shoreline, where you might see a Bald Eagle, heron, or other migratory waterfowl. Golfing Virginia’s Lake Region is a paradise for outdoor and sports enthusiasts. With more than 800 miles of beautiful shoreline, Lake Kerr is home to two Virginia State Parks and more than a dozen parks. Whether you’re into hiking, biking, horseback riding, canoeing, or motorsports, there’s lots of options for you, within a short driving distance or right here in the heart of Clarksville! Fishinglast_img read more