Cross-country skiing at White Grass Ski Touring Center in West Virginia. Photo by Chip Chase Especially this year, when isolated wild lands have been embraced more than ever as safe havens, there’s never been a better time to bundle up and enjoy every bit of powder that falls in the Blue Ridge backcountry. Winter activities in the South require the right conditions, so when the flurries accumulate, head to the mountains for one of these cold-weather adventures. Up north in Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountain Guides (blueridgemtnguides.com) offers guided trips to the ice crags off the Blue Ridge Parkway, not far from Wintergreen Resort. A Different Ski Season “Looking at the forecast, it’s still hard to predict how well a particular feature is going to form,” said Cristin Knowlton, owner of Fox Mountain Guides, an outfitter that leads ice climbing trips in North Carolina. “Our guides go out and scout the locations ahead of time to see how well formed it is. Sometimes we’ll have freeze-thaw cycles that can actually be better for ice. If it freezes up, falls out, and then refreezes, that can make for better ice than if it is just a really hard freeze one night. It’s important to lay eyes on the ice and see.” As people look for activities they can do outdoors within driving distance, it’s important to remember we are still in the middle of a global pandemic. “Some of the resorts out West and in the Northeast, they’re going to be doing a reservation system just to ski because they have to keep the capacity down,” he said. “But I don’t know of any of the resorts around here doing that. I feel like there needs to be something at the very outset of the season to limit capacity.” On Winter Trails Day (January 3, 2021) Sugar will offer free snowshoe tours all day. For beginners, White Grass offers cheap one-hour lessons to nail down the basics, and Chase recommends starting with shorter routes to get a feel for trail conditions. “Bite off less than you can chew,” he said. “If you come back and you’re tired, it’s no fun. You’ve got to know how far you’re going, the terrain, and where you’re going.” Snowshoe the North Carolina High Country Snowshoeing is a great way to explore beyond the slopes at Sugar Mountain Resort. Photo by Bushphoto.com “It’s great exercise and half the time you don’t even know you’re exercising because often it’s just a beautiful walk in the woods during the winter,” said Kimberley Jochl, Sugar’s vice president, of snowshoeing’s aerobic benefits. “It’s exhilarating.” More to Explore: Spots vary when it comes to finding a frozen slab in Appalachia, but some of North Carolina’s best-known ice routes are found at Linville Falls and Whiteside Mountain. Unlike climbing rock, which is a fixed medium, climbing ice is entirely dependent on the weather, so hiring a guide during prime conditions can make the experience safer and more enjoyable. The area gets a decent stash of powder for the South, boasting an average of 90 skiable days a year, and at White Grass, they collect natural snow to feed to their trails in order to keep things running throughout the season. “We work really hard to make conditions that are thin still work,” Chase said. “How can we be open with an inch of really good packed snow? How can trails be dry and smooth? Our mode is to try to get people out there as often as we can.” More to Explore: Take a Guided Ice Climbing Trip Additional spots in the South that get relatively reliable snow include Virginia’s Grayson Highlands State Park, which features high-elevation open meadows and miles of trails to explore. And similar terrain can be found at Tennessee’s Roan Mountain State Park, which features vast grassy balds that get covered with more than 100 inches of snow annually. “[Snowshoeing is] infinitely easier but has a lot of the same elements that cross-country skiing has,” said Chase, who also hosts a lot of snowshoers at White Grass. ”So you can focus more on what’s around you. You’re out in the quiet and hush of winter.” While more popular in areas farther north with more snow, there are some scenic gems in the Blue Ridge region that offer a good introduction to cross-country skiing. White Grass is one of the best— a four-plus decade mainstay that benefits from the Canaan area’s high elevations and cold climate. The center has more than 30 miles of onsite trails, half of which are regularly groomed, and it offers fast access to the majestic terrain in the nearby Dolly Sods Wilderness and the Monongahela National Forest. Please check local guidelines and regulations before making plans to get outside. Confirm with locations to make sure access is open to the public. Remember to practice social distancing, wear a mask, and respect others’ health when outside. Ryback does see this season as a chance for resorts to reevaluate their procedures. “If there’s any one thing I’d love for the industry down here to look into more is uphill skiing,” he said. “If I can save a spot on the chair for someone else, that’s great. I feel like I’m doing my part more. Only one or two [resorts in the Southeast] allow for this uphill skiing. Otherwise it’s totally banned. But if there was any year, if there was anything that got just a little more interest or involvement, it might be that.” • Valentina D’Ercole uses ice axes and crampons to climb a frozen waterfall. Photo by Anthony D’Ercole Rudy Ryback was on the slopes the day most resorts in the Southeast decided to shut down in March 2020 due to COVID-19. “It was a very somber day,” he said. “There was a lot of confusion, like should we be doing this, should we not. There were no precautions at that point. You just stayed away from people as much as possible in the lodge. It was kind of an eerie feeling being up there then.” More to Explore: Ryback, who covers 17 regional ski resorts for SkiSoutheast.com, typically spends 50 to 60 days a season skiing and snowboarding. Heading into this winter, things at the resorts will look a little different from the last time he was on the slopes. “Skiing is such a social sport,” Ryback said. “You meet so many people just on the lift ride up to the top. Well, that’s going to be totally different this year.” Resorts will be spacing lift lines out to maintain social distancing. Most will not require anyone to ride up with someone not in their group, although visitors may have to wait in line longer. Many places, like Seven Springs Mountain Resort, have implemented a no-touch online purchasing system to allow guests to buy season passes, lift tickets, equipment rentals, and lessons ahead of time, while Snowshoe Mountain Resort will tightly regulate the number of daily lift tickets sold. Chip Chase, longtime owner of White Grass Ski Touring Center in West Virginia’s Canaan Valley, still gets excited at the first sight of snow. “It changes your favorite places in the world that you have always loved into this magic winter landscape,” Chase says. “Obviously if you’re in the Southeast, it’s not going to last very long. So it’s kind of like here today, gone tomorrow. It makes it pretty special. Snow is something to relish.” Fox Mountain Guides offers ice climbing day trips and multi-day courses that teach fundamentals. When the snow falls in the South, it’s time to get out there. Here’s where to cross-country ski, snowshoe, and climb ice in the Blue Ridge. Ryback said he’s making a few personal changes as well, like packing a lunch and eating in his car to avoid spending time indoors. He also plans to spend more time skiing the backcountry away from the major resorts. “There’s a couple of these first descents off the back of Mt. Mitchell I’m trying to tackle,” Ryback said. “The conditions have to be super right. It’s so steep you kind of have to ice climb up from the bottom in certain places and you can only ski down sections. I really think that’s the way to go this year. I think this could be the year for the true explosion of more backcountry skiing.” He’ll also spend time at Roan Mountain for some alpine touring and cross-country skiing. Snowshoeing can be done pretty much anywhere with enough snow, so it’s a great backyard winter activity when you’re staying close to home. But if you’re chasing powder, another stellar spot to explore on snowshoes is Swallow Falls State Park, which has a mild-graded trail system in a scenic part of western Maryland that banks 100 inches of snow a year. Ice climbing can be hit or miss in the South. Ascending a frozen face is more of a rare opportunity than a regular activity in the region, but it is certainly possible to get some use out of a pick and crampons in the Blue Ridge, especially with experienced climbing guides on the lookout for the right conditions. “There’s a lot you need to know about ice because there’s a lot of risk involved,” said climbing guide Anthony D’Ercole, who also says to expect a learning curve when both swinging picks and getting used to crampons on your feet. “Any time you swing into a frozen chunk of ice, it’s going to break depending on how it’s delaminated, how it formed, how the snow’s sitting on top of it, the different thermal layers, and the temperature outside.” Nearby, Moses Cone Memorial Park, located at mile marker 294 along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Boone, is another great place to get acquainted with walking in snowshoes. The park has 25 miles of gently sloping carriage trails that are perfect for finding a stride but also enjoying some solitude. Operations at White Grass will look slightly different this year due to COVID-19, with limited access inside the lodge and all food being carryout. Paying for passes and ordering food will be done via smartphone to limit person-to-person interactions. “I think cross-country skiers are naturally socially distanced,” Chase said. “We’re hoping to have more of a tailgate winter where people change their boots right in the car rather than coming into the lodge to do it.” Go Cross-Country in West Virginia Set well above 5,000 feet, the North Carolina High Country is another part of the Blue Ridge that gets a fair share of powder. Snowshoeing is a great, low-impact way to cover the craggy area’s bounty of snow-covered trails. But those who’ve never strapped snowshoes over their boots can give it a try at Sugar Mountain Resort, which offers guided tours that include equipment rentals. Located in Banner Elk, the resort—which also has 21 downhill slopes—has guides tailor the snowshoe tour routes to participant abilities. ………………………………………………………………. Cover photo: Ice climbers prepare to ascend a frozen Linville Falls in North Carolina. Photo by Peter Lorenz.
In Memoriam December 15, 2002 In Memoriam In Memoriam Duane Anderson, Miami Admitted 1951; Died January 1, 2002 Melvin J. Asher, Miami Admitted 1973; Died December 11, 2001 Samuel Luther Bare III, Miami Admitted 1965; Died September 18, 2001 Gerald Lee Bedford, Miami Beach Admitted 1965; Died February 15, 2002 Monte J. Tillis, Jr., Bartow Admitted 1949; Died February 13, 2002 Monte J. Tillis, Jr., Bartow Admitted 1949; Died February 13, 2002 James Alexander Tucker, Ocala Admitted 1985; Died July 31, 2002 Philip T. Weinstein, Miami Admitted 1953; Died May 22, 2002 Alan R. Williams, St. Petersburg Admitted 1960; Died May 6, 2002
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York View image | gettyimages.comBy Rich MurdoccoWater, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. It is a problem more befit an ancient mariner marooned on a desert island in the middle of a salty sea than a modern Long Islander living in the suburbs, but if our prolonged moderate drought persists, this could be the reality here.Should policymakers be concerned?Customarily the Island’s seasons have always been wet, whether it’s the cold November rains, the driving snows of January, or the April showers. As a result, our sole source aquifer under the ground has found plenty of replenishment from the sky. In the past, rain and snowfall have not only kept pace with our ever-growing thirst for fresh water, but precipitation levels actually surpassed the demand.But past averages are not in synch with current trends.“The numbers spell out a drought for the calendar year,” says Michael Leona, a professional freelance meteorologist based on LI. “MacArthur Airport is 7.79 inches below normal since January 1. This, combined with other factors like soil moisture content, puts Long Island in a moderate drought according to the Drought Monitor.”Established in 1999, the U.S. Drought Monitor puts out a weekly map of drought conditions in the country with information obtained by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska, which oversees it. According to Leona, only “a sliver” of the East End is not put in the current moderate drought category.Based on research conducted by the Earth Science Educational Resource Center (ESERC) at Stony Brook University, the Island should receive on average around 44 inches of “relatively abundant” rainfall per year. This total is divided to roughly 3 to 4 inches per month, with around 50 percent of the total rainfall returning to the atmosphere through evaporation.By the year’s end, the ESERC says that the aquifer—the only source of LI’s drinking water—should receive an estimated 1,126 million gallons of water from precipitation, a process known as recharging.Under normal conditions, Long Island’s freshwater supply has been plentiful. The main threat to our drinking water has always been the overall quality, not the quantity. The impacts of development on the aquifer system are well documented.Usage and recharge varies by county. In Nassau, 330 million gallons per day (MGD) is recharged into the system, while consumption places a burden of 180 million gallons a day on the system, of which 140 MGD is never returned to the natural cycle thanks to outfall pipes that carry the treated effluent away to the ocean or the Sound. With 90 percent of Nassau using sewers, the largest water consumer is the county’s robust wastewater network. Essentially, when an area has sewers, the fresh water flushed down the toilet is completely lost, throwing off the Island’s natural recharge/consumption balance. With cesspools, wastewater is absorbed into the ground.In Suffolk, the water figures are monumental in scale compared to those in Nassau – recharge is 990 MGD, while consumption is around 210 MGD, and 95 MGD of that amount is completely lost to the system thanks to the presence of sewers and other natural processes. Unlike Nassau, which loses around 55 percent of its consumed water, Suffolk loses only 10 percent. This loss is due in part to Suffolk’s lack of sewers, but it’s also because Suffolk’s population is relatively the same size of Nassau but is dispersed over a larger area.These totals are important, because they reflect the balance of LI’s freshwater system—its regional water use and recharge trends—under “normal” conditions. Our current water supply is abundant, but we can’t assume it always will be as plentiful.Thanks to the expansion of our sewer networks, and the unpredictable nature of our weather, Long Island may become particularly vulnerable to future drought conditions. The challenge our planners face is not only protecting the quality of the drinking water, but the quantity as well.Given what we know now about climate change, the future of the Island’s water supply should be a top concern of policymakers and agencies responsible for monitoring consumption of this precious resource.Now is the time to do some smart planning instead of waiting for another rainy day.As precipitation patterns shift, the assumption that our aquifer will recover from its annual losses no longer holds true. We must assess what is putting unnecessary strains on the supply now and how more water can be saved in the years ahead.Long Island’s commercial and residential water hogs have been singled out in recent weeks by the news media. According to the Suffolk Water Authority, National Grid’s Northport power plant sits at the top of the list. By using an average of 95 million gallons per year, the aging facility has the dubious distinction as the region’s biggest commercial user of fresh water.At least the power plant uses the water for the common good. The Island’s largest private residential user of fresh water is the Southampton estate of billionaire David Koch, which topped the list at 20.7 million gallons in 2014. For perspective, the Suffolk County Water Authority says the average rate of consumption per household is 160,000 gallons.To counteract the environmental threat to our drinking supply posed by the high levels of nitrogen already in our water, Nassau and Suffolk partnered in 2013 to create the Commission for Aquifer Protection. It’s a step in the right direction, but so far no substantive policy solutions have been put forth that have made more than a ripple in curbing nitrogen contamination.Meanwhile, Suffolk is aggressively pursuing funding for sewer upgrades from both state and federal sources. If the county’s past record is any indication, it will get secure additional financing for upcoming projects in the next decade.A notable recent success was Suffolk’s placement of new sewers in Wyandanch. Soon it hopes to expand the sewer system in the Carll’s River Watershed in Babylon. Having sewers replace antiquated cess pools and septic tanks would directly benefit coastal areas as well as developments in western Suffolk with more than two dwellings per acre.But there’s a downside. Years of analysis of Nassau’s water consumption patterns by the U.S. Geological Survey have shown that the county’s aquifer levels are significantly lower because of the sheer quantity of water that its sewers displace in this highly dense suburb.Suffolk’s current leadership seems adept at finding new sources of funding to expand their capital ambitions in the eventual amount of millions of dollars but Nassau officials can barely get out of their own way. While Suffolk has essentially one unified water authority that covers the vast majority of users, Nassau, just like the multiple villages within each township, has multiple small water providers. This lack of cohesion, a distinctly Long Island problem, will hamper the implementation of any policies to combat a prolonged drought because the solution will have to be regional in scope.The longer the drought lasts, the greater the urgency will be to curb water use. But a far-reaching concern will be the impact that less precipitation will have on the aquifer system’s viability. Under current conditions, the South Shore near the Queens border and both the North and South Forks are already at risk for increased intrusion of salt water, which refers to ocean water contaminating the freshwater supply underground. Pumping more fresh water from the aquifer would lower the water tables further and make the problem worse.So far, our drought pales in comparison to the severe water shortage facing California and Idaho, but it would be irresponsible if we did not begin to prepare our region for the possibility of a prolonged period of scarcity.“Anytime precipitation totals are below normal is a cause for concern,” Leona says. “We have a great farming industry, from apple orchards to wineries, that relies heavily on changeable weather conditions. It should be a concern, especially since it’s been long term.”The forecast for the rest of this year shouldn’t make us complacent, because the winter outlook prepared by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows that temperatures and precipitation will be only slightly above normal for December to February.“This is an indication that the drought will persist through the winter months,” explains Leona.Based on past droughts, LI could face a hot time next summer, if the current drought continues. In 1995, abnormally dry conditions helped fuel the Sunrise Fires that burned 5,500 acres of Pine Barrens and damaged a dozen homes. That blaze was tamed by 2,200 firefighters who assembled along Sunrise Highway to contain the flames.Fire is a natural factor in the Pine Barrens ecosystem but the drought exacerbated it. The brittle underbrush spread the conflagration faster over a larger swath of forest than might have been happened in a normal year. A moderate drought in 2012 helped to spark a wildfire in Brookhaven that burned 700 acres of Pine Barrens—and you can still see the charred remains along the Long Island Rail Road tracks.“Long Island’s semi-subtropical climate can create ‘feast or famine’ conditions at times, so droughts tend to just become a part of local history,” Leona says.“Long Island gets humid summers, and mild winters, relatively speaking…especially compared to the harsh winters of the Northern Plains,” explains Leona. “Rainfall in the region is consistent all year…We don’t get a rainy season.”Leona says that on average the Island gets more rain during the summer compared to other months but the seasonal difference is not as significant as in other climates and locales.“Being an island,” he notes, “we’re susceptible to the nearby climate, plus whatever the ocean waters give us.”This unique cocktail of factors can contribute to wild weather patterns, which paired with increased sewering activity in Suffolk, will impact our sole source aquifer in ways we may not yet fully understand.Here’s hoping that these present periods of rainless weather don’t become Long Island’s new normal, potentially threatening the aquifers, which are currently expected to hold enough water to last a few centuries. But complacency is not a policy. Our policymakers, politicians and people should act now, long before our wells run dry.Rich Murdocco writes about Long Island’s land use and real estate development issues. He received his Master’s in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, where he studied regional planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s veteran master planner. Murdocco is a regular contributor to the Long Island Press. More of his views can be found on www.TheFoggiestIdea.org or follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea.
There is a major storm moving toward credit union mortgage lenders and it will arrive Aug. 1.That is the date the RESPA-TILA Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule will go into effect.The new rule will usher in a complete change to the disclosure forms sent to borrowers as they close their mortgages.These changes were high on the minds of mortgage professionals earlier this year.And Gaye DeCesare, president and CEO of Compliance Assistance for Credit Unions said the TILA/RESPA integrated disclosures are still the No. 1 compliance challenge facing credit unions today. (COMPASS 4 CUs is a wholly owned subsidiary of $327 million-asset Belvoir Credit Union of Woodbridge, Va.) continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Michel de Nostredame, better known as Nostradamus, was a 16th century French apothecary, aka modern-day pharmacist, who many believe predicted future world events. Crediting much of his visions to astrology, meditation and possibly flame gazing—catching glimpses of the future through trances induced by fire—he described what he saw in the form of quatrains, four-line poems, organizing them into centuries, and publishing more than 350 in the first edition of his legendary 10-volume Les Propheties aka The Prophecies in 1555.Nostradamus has been credited with foretelling nearly every major tumultuous historical event in the past 450 years, from epic floods, apocalyptic fires and massacres to the ascension of Napoleon and Adolf Hitler—the latter referred to as “Hister” in his texts; both interpreted to be the first two of three antichrists he foresaw—the two world wars, September 11, 2001 terror attacks and destruction of the World Trade Center.A recent analysis of several of Nostradamus’ quatrains has some believing that the legendary prophet has also indeed predicted billionaire-turned-realty TV personality-turned-U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump’s stunning clenching of the 2016 presidential election—as well as its apocalyptic aftermath.RELATED: Long Island Haunts: 13 Creepiest Haunted Places On Long IslandTrump’s unprecedented triumph over presumed Democratic victor former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is perhaps the greatest upset in U.S. political history, with the Republican’s surge to the White House through battleground states largely unforeseen among pollsters. Though Clinton won the popular vote, Trump seized the all-important electorate vote.The real estate mogul, as known for his brash, unapologetic style and off-the-cuff tirades—encompassing everything from the need for a physical wall to be constructed between the United States and Mexico to keep undocumented immigrants out and the establishment of a Muslim database to keep dibs on followers of Islam, and countless sexist comments, most infamously, perhaps, his “Grab them by the pussy” remarks championing sexual assault against women—as his signature blonde hair, will soon be crowned the most powerful elected official in the free world. As such, the short-fused president will have direct access to the second-largest stockpile of nuclear warheads on the globe and its second-largest army.Besides immigration, Trump’s other chief campaign promises include dismantling the country’s universal health care system, aka Obamacare, currently covering approximately 22 million people, restructuring the media industry, obliterating the extremist death cult ISIS, and renegotiating global trade agreements.Thus, to say that many in the United States and overseas are fearful would be a gross understatement. As the mass anti-Trump #NotMyPresident protests of thousands that have been flooding cities across the United States since Nov. 9 are testament, many are also angry.So, did Nostradamus Predict Trump Presidency & Consequential End Of World? Below are several of Nostradamus’ quatrains that some interpret to directly correlate to the recent 2016 U.S. presidential election—also the subject of a recent special presentation by history.com. Before we begin, however, it’s important to address some of the criticism of his works. Naysayers argue that Nostradamus’ verses are cryptic, overly broad, and therefore, can be appropriated to match or corroborate nearly any event or disaster. Related: 5 Real-Life ‘Stranger Things’-Montauk, Long Island ParallelsTrue, these texts are, in fact, open-ended in nature. It’s critically important, however, to understand their code-like origins. Astrology in the Middle Ages was widely used to help diagnose and treat those who were ill and requiring medical assistance, and as an apothecary and healer, Nostradamus traveled throughout Europe using science and studying the stars and constellations to aid those stricken with the plague. At some point along his travels, he became fascinated with the occult. In 1550 and subsequently annually, he authored an almanac and calendars, gaining a reputation as a seer, and often sought out by nobility for horoscopes and to give psychic advice. Yet such divinities were not aligned with the stringent teachings of the Catholic Church, interpreted as derivations of evil and magic, and considered heresy by devout followers. Thus, Nostradamus reportedly arranged his visions in poetic verse to disguise their true meanings and escape the imprisonment or executions rampant during the Inquisition, when those deemed heretics were sought out and punished for their perceived crimes. In truth, visions of the future could have gotten him killed.With that preface, we move on with the hunt, so to say.In chronological order of the verses, Nostradamus writes in Century I, Quatrain 57:The trumpet shakes with great discord.An agreement broken: lifting the face to heaven:the bloody mouth will swim with blood;the face anointed with milk and honey lies on the ground. The “trumpet” in the first verse is perhaps the most blatant indication among believers that Nostradamus is foreseeing the 2016 presidential election, with the renowned seer literally citing Donald Trump by name. That he “shakes with great discord” could be a reference to nearly any of the president-elect’s public appearances, whether in interviews, along the campaign trail, or during the debates, oftentimes pointing or waving his hands in the air and speaking in loud, bombastic and threatening tones. The second verse’s “agreement broken” could represent any number of shattered pacts throughout his often vitriolic road to the White House, from Trump’s breaking ranks within the Republican Party—many of whom publicly denouncing him as their candidate, or even the foreboding possibility of the future President Trump backtracking on any of his promises to “Make America Great Again.” “The face to heaven” could symbolize dismayed voters’ prayers for a safe future, or even the rampant religiously inspired violence that has been sweeping the globe in recent years, such as the resurrection of holy wars between extremists. The horrifying third verse “the bloody mouth will swim with blood” obviously foretells of some horrific calamity, perhaps any of the massacres currently raging across the Middle East, from the killing fields of Syria and Yemen to the still unfolding bloodbaths across Iraq and Afghanistan. “The face anointed with milk and honey lies on the ground,” could be a reference to the destruction of either Israel or America. Century II, Quatrain 46 states:After great trouble for humanity, a greater one is preparedThe Great Mover renews the ages:Rain, blood, milk, famine, steel and plague,Is the heavens fire seen, a long spark running.These verses are pretty much self-explanatory, ominously foreshadowing a horrific fate of some kind and actually naming “blood,” “famine” and “plague”—all gruesome. “The Great Mover” could be a reference to Trump, in that the few details of his stated immigration policy, besides the wall, Muslim database and a ban on Muslims entering the United States also includes a promise to deport undocumented immigrants, who number more than 11 million. That would indeed be a very large move. The verse “Is the heavens fire seen, a long spark running” may be a reference to nuclear missiles, the “long spark running” its rocket’s tail. In Nostradamus’ Century III, Quatrain 81, he writes:The great shameless, audacious bawler,He will be elected governor of the army:The boldness of his contention,The bridge broken, the city faint from fear. The “great shameless, audacious bawler” could again be Trump, who is all of those adjectives. That “He will be elected governor of the army” in the second verse could obviously represent his election to the U.S. presidency, as the U.S. president becomes the nation’s commander-in-chief of all its Armed Services, including the U.S. Army—viewed as the most powerful in the world. The third verse’s “boldness of his contention” could again signify Trump, as his controversial declarations, attacks, and relentless Tweets are all examples. “The bridge broken, the city faint from fear” could be interpreted as the divisiveness permeating the U.S. citizenry in the wake of the election—the last half of that verse a possible reference to the aforementioned fear expressed by the thousands marching through the streets in protest of his winning bid for the White House, notably, New York City, where demonstrations have been consistent outside Trump Towers. Century VI, Quatrain 97 At forty-five degrees the sky will burn,Fire to approach the great new city:In an instant a great scattered flame will leap up,When one will want to demand proof of the Normans. This is perhaps one of the most horrifying verses yet. “At forty-five degrees” could be interpreted as a direct reference to Donald Trump, soon to be inaugurated the 45th president of the United States, and “the sky will burn, Fire to approach the great new city: In an instant a great scattered flame will leap up” perhaps missiles, an atomic explosion, or a nuclear holocaust, which would created massive fire and incineration and mushroom clouds. “When one will want to demand proof of the Normans” could possibly represent a so-called “false flag” event in which such an attack would be blamed on foreign powers, yet instigated or committed by others. All of these scenarios are bone-chilling to contemplate, to say the least.Related: Sonic Boom, Earthquake, Government Cover-Up, Meteor, Or Something More Sinister?Nostradamus’ Century VIII quatrains contain some of the most chilling verses possibly pertaining to the 2016 U.S. presidential election of all, seemingly describing both Hillary Clinton and the many debacles that plagued her campaign throughout the past year, including her WikiLeaks scandals, perception among voters, and perhaps even Benghazi. Here they are in succession.Century VIII, Quatrain 15 foretells:The masculine woman will exert herself to the northShe will annoy nearly all of Europe and the rest of the world.Two failures will put her in such an imbalanceThat both life and death will strengthen Eastern Europe With no disrespect, the “masculine woman” Nostradamus glimpses in the vision described in the first verse could be Hillary Clinton, as someone from the Middle Ages could arguably interpret her modern-day wardrobe and pantsuits extremely masculine in nature. Her critics haven’t been shy about describing her as cold, emotionless, or even robotic-like either, all traits perhaps more typically ascribed to men. “Exert herself to the north” could be Clinton’s long-running attempt for the White House, as Washington, D.C. is geographically northeast of her original home state of Arkansas. That she will “annoy nearly all of Europe and the rest of the world” could be a reference to her role as U.S. Secretary of State. The “two failures [that] will put her in such an imbalance” some may interpret to be her controversial use of a private server for state department emails (more on this soon) and perhaps even the controversy surrounding her handling of the 2012 Benghazi attack against the American diplomatic compounds in Benghazi, Libya, in which U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was killed. It could also be a veiled reference to widely circulated allegations that Clinton abused her dual role as U.S. Secretary and head of international nonprofit Clinton Foundation to profit personally. All of these issues were used by Trump to criticize and delegitimize her candidacy, with “Lock Her Up” emerging as a popular chant at his rallies. The final verse citing “life and death” and “Eastern Europe” could represent the conflict in Ukraine, Russia—with Russian President Vladimir Putin and alleged Russian hackers both popular topics invoked by Trump and Clinton throughout the campaign—or perhaps, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, an alliance that Trump mentioned more than once along the road to the White House.Related: 5 Paranormal Oddities Reported on Long IslandCentury VIII, Quatrain 20 predicts:The false message about the rigged electionto run through the city stopping the broken pact;voices bought, chapel stained with blood,the empire contracted to another one. “The false message about the rigged election” so ominously referenced by Nostradamus could obviously be interpreted as a direct reference to Trump’s blatantly false allegation that the 2016 U.S. presidential election was, in fact, “rigged.” (He’s not complaining anymore.) “To run through the city stopping the broken pact” could be a reference to his residence in New York City, and “voices bought, chapel stained with blood” and “the empire contracted to another one” could be an allusion to the theory circulating around present-day conspiracy circles that the Russian government, and Russian President Vladimir Putin specifically, has secretly and purposely been aiding Trump’s ascension, whether, as Clinton consistently alleged, by hacking her emails and supplying them to WikiLeaks, or by covertly funding the former reality TV personality, or even blackmailing him, to destabilize the United States and its global allies. In this scenario, the last verse could mean that the presidency is, in fact, contracted to Putin, or, another interpretation could be Clinton’s winning of the popular vote. Century VIII, Quatrain 23 foreshadows: Letters are found in the queen’s chests,No signature and no name of the author.The ruse will conceal the offers;so that they do not know who the lover is. The first verse here “Letters are found in the queen’s chests” can easily be interpreted to mean the hundreds of thousands of emails—aka, modern-day “letters”—from Hillary Clinton’s time as U.S. Secretary of State that were stored on a private server in her New York residence and published online by WikiLeaks. Its second verse “No signature and no name of the author” could possibly be a reference to the unknown source or sources who leaked them to the whistleblower site. Clinton insisted during the debates that they were stolen through cyberattacks orchestrated by Russian hackers, who were thus tampering with the presidential election in a covert effort to get Trump elected. To date, nobody is sure where they came from. “The ruse will conceal the offers; so that they do not know who the lover is” could represent the aforementioned scenario of a Russian scheme for Moscow to control the U.S. presidency, via Trump, and distract the public and authorities from investigating or realizing the true intention of the disclosures and ploy. It could also be a reference to the alleged scenario that Trump was being funded, supported, or blackmailed by Russia—“lover,” in either scenario, being Russia or Putin. Whether or not any of the hypothetical scenarios and translations contained in this column are, in fact, true, remains unclear. Yet if so, Nostradamus predicted all of this more than 450 years ago, and foretold of much worse to come. That’s for another post.For now, it’s all open to interpretation.Stay tuned.Whether or not 16th Century visionary Nostradamus predicted billionaire Donald Trump’s triumphant 2016 U.S. presidential election bid is open to interpretation. (Art: ‘The Portrait of Michel de Nostredame’ by his son César de Nostredame; WikiMedia Commons)
Nov 21 CIDRAP News story “Researchers report new species of deadly Ebola virus” Meanwhile, MSF said in a Dec 25 report that suspected cases have been reported since Nov 27. The group said nine of its Ebola specialists from Kinshasa and Brussels are working in Western Kasai province. MSF said an isolation ward is being built in the village of Kampungu and that the group’s doctors are treating suspected patients and identifying those who may have been in contact with people who had or have the virus. Dec 25 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2008_12_26a/en/index.html See also: CDC background information about Ebola The Ebola virus is highly contagious and causes a high fatality rate, ranging from about 50% to 90%. Initial symptoms include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Hallmarks of Ebola infection include internal and external bleeding, and there is no vaccine or specific treatment for the disease. Dec 23 FAO statement The DRC’s last Ebola outbreak, in September 2007, also hit West Kasai province and also featured Shigella infections in some patients, according to previous reports. Seventeen cases and six deaths were reported in that outbreak. A spokesman from the medical aid group Medicins sans Frontieres (MSF, or Doctors Without Borders) said that two more people have died of suspected Ebola infections, raising the number of deaths possibly caused by Ebola to 11, according to a report today from Agence France-Presse. WHO experts are assisting the DRC’s health ministry with the outbreak investigation and response at ministry headquarters and in the field, the WHO said. The agency said it has sent additional staff and supplies to the area, and a team of national and international experts has been sent to help control the outbreak. Based on reports from the DRC’s health ministry, the WHO said in a Dec 26 statement that the outbreak was detected in Mweka district in Kasai Occidental (West Kasai) province and that a laboratory in Franceville, Gabon, confirmed the Ebola virus in samples from two of the patients. WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told CIDRAP News that the two patients with confirmed infections are still alive. Dec 29, 2008 (CIDRAP News) The World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported an outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that involves 34 suspected cases, with at least 9 deaths. Editor’s note: This story was revised Dec 30 to make clear that as of Dec 29, only two cases in the outbreak had been confirmed as Ebola. During the DRC’s 2007 outbreak the government confirmed 17 cases, down from 25 it reported earlier, and initial reports during that outbreak mentioned as many as 395 suspected Ebola cases. Some of the suspected patients had other diseases, including shigellosis. Nov 20, 2007, CIDRAP News story “Congo says Ebola outbreak is contained” The WHO said it hasn’t received any reports that suggest international spread of the disease, and it advised countries not to impose travel or trade restrictions on the DRC. In other developments, government officials in the Philippines recently asked the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and the WHO to send experts to help investigate the detection of the Ebola Reston virus in pigs, according to a Dec 23 statement from the FAO. The WHO said a lab in Kinshasa also confirmed Shigella (bacterial) infections, but the agency did not say how many. In early December the FAO announced that researchers had discovered the Ebola virus for the first time in pigs while investigating outbreaks of porcine reproductive respiratory syndrome (PRRS) at several Philippine swine producers. The Reston subtype can sicken monkeys, but it does not appear to clinically infect humans. Dec 25 MSF statementhttp://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=3275 In late 2007, researchers investigating an Ebola outbreak in Uganda, the DRC’s neighbor to the east, identified a new Ebola subtype: Bundibugyo. Initial findings suggested that the case-fatality rate for Ebola Bundibugyo was about 36%, lower than that of the Zaire (80% to 90%) or Sudan (50% to 55%) subtypes, according to previous reports. Sep 11, 2007, CIDRAP News story “Ebola outbreak confirmed in Congo” From the number of suspected cases and deaths in the ongoing outbreak, the WHO said the case-fatality rate is 26%. The agency said that additional samples have been sent to the lab in Kinshasa. The statement did not say which Ebola subtype had sickened people in the outbreak.
Which areas are affected?The month-long declaration is not nationwide. It affects seven areas where medical experts believe the virus is now spreading rapidly, risking overloading the healthcare system.It covers Tokyo and neighboring Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama, the western hub of Osaka and neighboring Hyogo, as well as the southwestern region of Fukuoka.Other parts of the country are not affected. In February, the governor of northern Hokkaido announced a localized state of emergency as cases increased, but lifted the measure after several weeks. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in several parts of the country, including Tokyo, where coronavirus infections are spiking.But the measure falls far short of the lockdowns seen in other parts of the world. So what does a state of emergency entail in the world’s third-biggest economy? How is it declared?The state of emergency measure comes from a revised 2012 bill intended to slow the spread of new strains of flu.The declaration can only be made if certain conditions are met, including that a virus is spreading rapidly and having a significant impact on the lives of citizens and the economy.To make such a determination, Abe is required to consult a taskforce convened for the purpose last month, which includes legal experts and medical professionals. They approved the declaration on Tuesday. What does the measure allow?The state of emergency empowers governors in affected regions to call for restrictions on movement and commerce but offers little in the way of enforcement.Governors can request people stay inside — something Tokyo’s governor has effectively already done by asking people to limit unnecessary outings and work from home.It also allows governors to call for businesses that attract large numbers of people, like entertainment venues or department stores, to close their doors.But there are no punishments for those who defy the request, nor any other enforcement mechanisms.Public transport is expected to continue running, though possibly on a more limited basis. Shops and other businesses may remain open. So what can governors order?The strongest power accorded governors is the ability to commandeer buildings or land for medical purposes.This could mean requiring landowners to turn over property to build temporary medical facilities, or businesses to free up space for housing patients. Governors can also close public institutions like schools, many of which have been shuttered since February after Abe urged a nationwide shutdown. How will the public react?While the measure does not contain strong enforcement measures, expectations are that most individuals and businesses will comply.Many people have already heeded calls to work from home, with Tokyo’s notoriously crowded transport system noticeably emptier in recent weeks.And a request from the Tokyo governor for people to stay home on weekends has also resulted in significantly quieter streets, even in the sunny final days of cherry blossom season. Japan’s legal system, influenced by the legacy of wartime excesses, limits the government’s power over its citizens.Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of the law implementing the state of emergency, said residents would be asked, not ordered.”Our legal system is set up so that people as a whole unite and share the burden of preventing the spread of infection,” rather than resorting to forcible measures, he said in parliament on Monday.And there are signs the public is on board, with a poll published by private broadcaster TBS on Monday showing 80 percent of participants supported a declaration of emergency. Topics :
September 06, 2017 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Governor Wolf Announces New Approvals for Low-interest Loans to Support Five Small Business Projects Economy, Jobs That Pay, Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced this month’s new low-interest loan approvals made by the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) program for five small business projects throughout the commonwealth.“The loans approved this month represent impactful investments in small businesses that together reveal the great economic diversity in Pennsylvania,” said Governor Wolf. “We continue to develop a strong business climate that embraces entrepreneurship in manufacturing, agriculture, logistics and other key economic sectors that together enable our communities to thrive.”Thus far in 2017, PIDA has approved $31.7 million in low-interest loans that have resulted in $149 million in private investment and supported 1,422 created and retained full-time jobs. Over the past month, PIDA approved a total of more than $2.6 million in fixed, low-interest loans to five projects in Bradford, Erie, Lancaster and Lehigh counties that will generate more than $7.6 million in matching capital investment.The following loans were approved during the past month:Bradford CountyMJ West Farm LLC was approved for a $400,000, 12-year term loan at a 2 percent fixed rate through Northern Tier Regional Planning and Development Commission to assist in the purchase of a 121-acre farm that includes a 29,750-square-foot hog finishing barn on Minnequa Main Road in Canton Township. The farm has an annual production total of more than 9,000 hogs through six growing cycles.Erie CountyGeorgeKo Industries, Inc. was approved for a $400,000, 15-year term loan at a 2 percent fixed rate through Enterprise Development Center of Erie County to assist in the acquisition of a 30,880-square-foot warehouse on West 17th Street in Millcreek Township to expand its company. GeorgeKo Industries, Inc. is a family-owned and operated custom injection molding manufacturer serving a variety of industries including automotive, medical, and construction. The company will retain 25 full-time employees and plans to create nine additional full-time jobs within three years.Logistics Plus Inc. was approved for a $386,500 15-year term loan and a $248,500 five-year term loan, both at a 2 percent fixed rate, through Enterprise Development Center of Erie County to assist in the renovation of an additional 25,968 square feet and acquisition of machinery and equipment on Peach Street in Erie. Logistics Plus Inc., established in Erie in 1996, has grown to become a leading worldwide provider of transportation, warehousing, logistics, and supply chain solutions. The additional space, which will help the company create a global control tower to better serve its clients, will result in the retention of 123 full-time jobs and the creation of 44 new full-time jobs within three years. Logistics Plus Inc. received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development for $88,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be issued after the new jobs are created. The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania, with the assistance of the City of Erie’s Department of Economic and Community Development.Lancaster CountyNew Holland Transport Inc. was approved for a $1.025 million 15-year term loan at a 2 percent fixed rate through EDC Finance Corporation to assist with a real estate and construction project for a cold storage facility, truck shop, and truck storage shed on Muddy Creek Road in East Cocalico Township. Though the project, New Holland Transport Inc., a refrigerated transportation common carrier founded in 2000, will retain 25 current employees and create three additional full-time jobs within three years.Lehigh CountyJustin M. Strasser LLC was approved for a $218,250 15-year term loan at a 2 percent fixed rate through Lehigh’s Economic Advancement Project Inc. to assist in the acquisition of a 15,000-square-foot manufacturing facility for the Campbell and Strasser custom cabinetmaking business on Clewell Street in Fountain Hill. The company will retain six full-time employees and expects to create an addition four full-time jobs within three years.PIDA is an independent authority staffed and regulated through the Department of Community and Economic Development. The authority provides capital for building acquisition, construction and renovation work, machinery and equipment loans along with working capital lines of credit, primarily for manufacturers, industrial developers, research and development firms, agricultural processors, and employers looking to establish national or regional headquarters in Pennsylvania.PIDA continues to offer eligible qualified applicants a fixed interest rate of 2 percent for real estate financing, equipment loans, and 12-month periods for working capital and accounts receivable lines of credit for a limited time.For more information about the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority and other DCED initiatives, visit dced.pa.gov.
Broad political support had been a prerequisite for increasing the equity share – currently 62.5% – she said, as had the ability to adhere to the chosen investment strategy in periods of market turbulence.All in all, said Jensen, the government considered an equity share of 70% to carry acceptable risk. “The downwards revision of the return estimate underpins the long investment horizon of the fund, a prerequisite for holding a high share of equities,” she added.In October, the Mork Commission told the Norwegian government that the GPFG should up its equity allocation to 70%, adding that the expected real rate of return for the overal portfolio was considerably less than 4%.However, in December, Norges Bank — which manages the fund — recommended to the government that the equity share be lifted to 75%.The government will now submit the proposals to parliament.Under Norwegian fiscal rules, spending of revenues generated by petroleum activities and GPFG’s investments should correspond to the sovereign fund’s expected real rate of return. However, despite the proposed revision to this figure the government did not propose changing how much of the GPFG’s revenue the government can spend.Prime minister Erna Solberg told the news conference: “The government’s proposals will support a continued, responsible management of the considerable oil and gas resources. The proposed changes strengthen the fiscal framework we have for managing petroleum revenues.”This would help make sure that future generations could benefit from these revenues, she added. Norway’s giant former oil fund has cut its return forecast and plans to increase its equity allocation to 70%, according to government plans unveiled yesterday.The NOK7.5trn (€846bn) Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) reduced its expected return to 3% from 4%. The expected rate of return has been at 4% since 2001.In a news conference, Norway’s finance minister Siv Jensen explained the decision to raise the share of equities in the sovereign wealth fund’s strategic benchmark index, saying the expected return on equities was more than that of bonds, so the move would support the aim of increasing the fund’s purchasing power.“At the same time, equities carry higher risks,” she added. “The proposal to increase the equity share is based on a comprehensive assessment of the recommendations received.”