The Short Cut: Hiking (Instead of Driving) to the Outer Banks

Posted On Dec 30 2020 by

first_imgThe long trek down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina is an annual rite of passage for many Virginians. We grumble about the traffic but accept that the hundred miles of travel remaining after passing Virginia Beach is an unavoidable fact of geography.Or is it? A quick look at a map will demonstrate that that the same barrier island that includes Corolla, Duck and Nag’s Head is actually connected to the mainland just south of Virginia Beach. There just isn’t any pavement heading straight south. A shortcut is lurking, but most of it it can only be done on foot.The idea of trading a hundred mile drive for a twenty-two mile hike was too much for me to resist. A little research turned up the fact that I could park my truck overnight at Little Island City Park in Virginia Beach while making the hike to Corolla. Pretty soon I was on my way with a sixty pound frame pack on my back.The two-day walk on the beach first took me through the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and then across False Cape State Park. I had the beach completely to myself for most of the first day. It was hard to believe that I was only a dozen miles away from the throngs of people packing the waterfront at Virginia Beach. I had my pick of an endless parade of immaculate seashells that I never even would have known about on a more crowded beach. The wildlife was also more plentiful than I expected. Sea turtles and loons were a nice change of pace from the ordinary gulls and pelicans of the beach up north.A $16 reservation allowed me to make camp in False Cape State Park after a long day’s push. The next morning I woke up and unzipped my tent to reveal a completely deserted stretch of perfect white beach. Who knew that there was still such a place on the east coast?After breakfast I pushed ahead toward the North Carolina border, which is marked out by a large fence with a small gate. Intended to keep the horses and trucks on the Carolina side, the fence also divides two very different stretches of beach. The immaculate, empty beach of False Cape State Park ends and private houses and vehicles line the North Carolina Side. However, this unique little community has held out against paved roads and commercial development. The beach is their highway for off-road vehicles only. Its another 10 miles from the border crossing until you arrive at the pavement of Route 12 in Corolla.After walking several miles past the border I stopped to admire a little band of the wild horses that this beach is known for. As I snapped pictures, a truck full of tourists pulled up to look at the same horses. Seeing some empty seats, I walked up and asked if I could hitch a ride into town.Boy, did I ever luck out! The truck happened to be driven by Banks Meredith, owner of Corolla Jeep Adventures. Once I pointed out the potential, Banks tells me that Corolla Jeep Adventures can pick up hikers at the border and either take them to their hotel or rental property, or he can rent them a Jeep to get around with for the duration of their stay in the Outer Banks. This means that you don’t need to walk as far as I did. 12 miles will get you to the border and an off-road ride into Corolla. Trade stop-and-go traffic in the sweltering heat for a ride down the beach surrounded by wild horses and pounding surf.Banks dropped me off with an old friend who happens to live in Kill Devil Hills. I spent the next morning fishing for sea trout on the beach. When luck wasn’t with me I moved over to the brackish waters of Albemarle Sound on the other side of the island. It was only a fifteen minute walk for a totally different fishing experience. A $10 non-resident temporary saltwater fishing license covers you on both sides.When it was time to start the trek back I knew better than to walk the whole length of my new shortcut to paradise. I called up Banks and arranged for a Jeep ride along the beach out to the border with Virginia. We stopped a few times to photograph more wild horses before my serious hiking started again.In all honesty, it was a grueling day pushing all the way back to my truck in the city park with the heat of the sun bearing down. Perhaps I should have taken more breaks. I took a few longer inland trails back instead of hugging the beach as much as I did when I was outbound, and I hiked that 14 miles in about six hours with a loaded pack.With a state-line pickup and drop-off, this hike is very do-able in one day in each direction. I was slowed by the weight of my tent, sleeping bag, and other supplies. Less weight would allow a speedier passage. The one item that you should not leave home is drinking water. Fresh water is hard to come by on this journey, with the ocean on one side and brackish water on the other.This is not a trip to attempt with small children or if you are not in good physical condition. However, for someone in good health with an adventurous spirit, this could be a very real alternative to driving to the Outer Banks. I would do this trip again in a heartbeat.last_img read more

Non-Europeans dominate overseas investment in UK

Posted On Oct 20 2020 by

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Indonesia inches forward on community forest goal, hobbled by pandemic

Posted On Oct 19 2020 by

first_imgIn 2014, President Joko Widodo pledged to hand over 12.7 million hectares of state forests to rural communities within five years, an ambitious bid to resolve intractable land conflicts while helping curb planet-warming emissions.Although the 2019 deadline was missed, the government is working to speed things up, but the pandemic has hampered efforts this year.The social forestry program is also intended to tackle rural poverty by establishing thousands of forest enterprises, ranging from eco-tourism ventures to sustainable management of forest products such as bamboo and rattan.Agriculture and forestry accounted for more than a third of national income in 2014, but poverty among those living in or near forests exceeded the national average. Indonesia has cut back its planned transfer of state forests to local communities this year by half – an area twice the size of Los Angeles – because of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.Bambang Supriyanto, the ministry’s director general of social forestry and environmental partnership, said social distancing measures from March to June had halted the technical work needed on the ground to certify the handover of land.The pandemic will see this year’s target of 500,000 hectares (about 1.2 million acres) reduced by 50%, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Meeting the target would see community management of forests rise from about 1% of Indonesia’s forest estate to more than 10%.“Whether it was only a leap of faith, Jokowi’s decision was remarkable,” said Delia Catacutan, Southeast Asia coordinator at the World Agroforestry Centre.“Critics and spectators were skeptical the government would be able to do it in the first place.”New rules to speed up implementation were introduced in 2016, cutting out local governments and enabling communities to apply directly to the central government to manage land.A working group established in 2017 brought academia, non-profit groups and government offices together to support communities in the application process.Transferring land to communities progressed slowly at first, with just over 1 million hectares authorized for community management by 2017.However, the ministry accelerated the community forestry program in 2018 with higher funding and trimmed red tape.The latest government data show the transfer of 4.2 million hectares had been authorized by late June this year, almost a third of the original target.“In the bigger scheme of things, the 4.2 million hectares of licensed land presents significant progress given the tumultuous land conflict in Indonesia,” noted Catacutan.Cutting emissionsThis May, the ministry authorized a 9,480-hectare area of customary land for the Dayak Iban indigenous group in Borneo.That was the largest-ever recognition of an indigenous community’s customary land, according to Yuli Prasetyo Nugroho, head of the ministry’s indigenous forest and customary knowledge section.In mid-July, as coronavirus restrictions eased, some forestry staff returned to work in the field in rural areas with low virus transmission rates, said Supriyanto.Total land authorized under Indonesia’s social forestry program could reach close to 5 million hectares by the end of 2021, according to the ministry’s updated plans.By giving local communities a direct stake in the landscape, the program aims to soothe conflict, cut carbon emissions by slowing deforestation, nurture biodiversity and boost incomes.Conversion of forest land for agriculture and other economic purposes, which fuels peatland fires and destroys mangroves, accounts for about two-thirds of Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions.Indonesia’s national climate action plan, submitted to the United Nations, pledges to reduce emissions by 29-41% from business-as-usual levels by 2030.But the contribution social forestry could make to meeting that target needs to be studied further, said Arief Wijaya, senior manager of climate, forests and oceans at the World Resources Institute in Indonesia.”Our recent analysis over social forestry areas in Indonesia shows that partly there is reduced deforestation in [those] areas,” he said.Nonetheless, some forestry scientists are concerned that not all communities will have the capacity to implement the land management plan agreed with the government.Community forestry programs in the Philippines, for example, have lacked the technical support services needed to make them successful in the long term.Some Indonesian communities may also struggle to manage their land as a sustainable enterprise, experts fear.Management plans often require communities to work with the ministries for small business and trade, which adds complexity.“It takes time to transform local communities into entrepreneurs,” said the World Agroforestry Centre’s Catacutan. center_img Topics :last_img read more

​AP Pension gets 35 raps as FSA finds management lacking

Posted On Sep 29 2020 by

first_img“It is the opinion of the Danish FSA that AP Pension has under-implemented parts of the new legislation, which both the board of directors and the executive board of AP Pension agree with,” it said.Among other things, the Danish FSA had pointed out that its management system was inadequate, it said, adding that this meant the pension fund had to make a number of improvements.These included more and better ongoing controls and increased reporting partly between upper management and the executive board and partly between the executive board and the supervisory board.Other improvements that had been called for by the FSA were the allocation of more resources to certain areas and a clearer separation of functions in some areas, AP Pension said.Lægernes rectifies illiquid credit detailSeparately, the regulator put out another report on Lægernes Pension, the Danish doctors’ pension fund, regarding its illiquid credit investments – handing out six official orders to rectify certain issues.This report was part of the FSA’s ongoing focus on illiquid credit – for example investments in loan portfolios – in which it is examining the asset type at several life insurance companies and labour-market pension funds.The FSA said its inspection, carried out in February 2019, covered the pension fund’s organisation and processes for illiquid credit investments, including its investment decisions and compliance with the prudent person principle.Lægernes Pension responded to the report, saying the orders to rectify were mostly about the level of detail in illiquid credit policies and guidelines.“The rules on unlisted investments have been strengthened sharply in recent years,” it said, adding that because of this, the pension fund had hired external consultants to review its unlisted investments last year, before the inspection.“The consultants identified a number of focus areas. There is a great correlation between the consultants’ recommendations and the supervisory order,” the fund said.“We, therefore, expect to be able to implement the necessary measures quickly in cooperation with the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority,” it said. AP Pension has been ordered to shore up its management structures by the Danish FSA, in a post-inspection report in which the authority issued the commercial mutual pension fund with 35 separate official orders to remedy failings.The €15.8bn Copenhagen-based pension fund was told by the financial watchdog: “In the improvement of the management structure, the company should focus on strengthening the three lines of defence.”In the wide range of regulatory failures uncovered by the inspection which took place in January and February 2019, the FSA took aim at shortcomings in the company’s compliance, audit and actuarial functions in particular.AP Pension responded in a statement on its website, saying it took the report very seriously and has already righted more than half of the failings.last_img read more

Family First at the World Congress of Families

Posted On Sep 27 2020 by

first_imgFamily First is currently at the World Congress of Families (WCF) which is the premier global gathering of parents, youth, lawmakers, scholars, religious leaders, and advocates united to support the natural family—and for the first time in history, the global gathering is in the United States. It’s a massive four-day event. www.wcf9.orglast_img

FA Cup:  Mowbray blames Gallagher for Blackburn ouster

Posted On Sep 26 2020 by

first_imgBlackburn manager Tony Mowbray singled out Sam Gallagher for criticism after the striker wasted four excellent chances in their 2-1 FA Cup third-round defeat at Birmingham. Gallagher, who spent the 2017-18 season on loan at St Andrew’s, spurned one opportunity in the first half and three after the break. However, the £5million signing did win the 61st-minute penalty, converted by Adam Armstrong, that saw City substitute Ivan Sunjic sent off within two minutes of replacing Gary Gardner. But Mowbray was unhappy with the striker’s finishing, saying: “He works hard in every game. I think at the moment I have faith in him, but he has to score goals. tony Mowbray insists Blackburn should have done better “He has to get into better positions – we’re working hard with him during the week to find better positions to score.Advertisement FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 “It was like a tidal wave of crosses coming into the box and he’s 6ft 5ins and he should be heading them into the net. “Yet he’s always underneath them, he’s always running past the near post, so he has to start listening more as to where he should be going to score, because the ammunition for him was good. He should have been on the scoresheet. “When you control a game like that you have to finish,” he said. “It’s unbelievable to think we only scored from a penalty, given the amount of play we had around the final third. “It all means nothing if you don’t stick the ball in the net.” Read AlsoDaniel Udoh impressive as Shrewsbury, Bristol draw in FA cup Birmingham head coach Pep Clotet praised match-winner Jeremie Bela after his breakaway goal in the 90th minute – with what looked like a cross palmed in by goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler  sealed an unlikely victory after Dan Crowley’s first goal for the club had put the hosts ahead after five minutes. Loading… Promoted Content7 Universities In The World With The Highest Market ValueTop Tastiest Foods From All Over The World7 Of The Wealthiest Universities In The World9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A TattooBest Car Manufacturers In The WorldThese TV Characters Left The Show And It Just Got Better7 Truly Incredible Facts About Black HolesPlaying Games For Hours Can Do This To Your Body11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table Top7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayThe Funniest Prankster Grandma And Her Grandsonlast_img read more

U.S. Attorney Resigning From Indiana’s Southern District

Posted On Sep 24 2020 by

first_imgUnited States Attorney Joe Hogsett will resign July 31.United States Attorney Joe Hogsett will resign from the position at the end of July. He has served as U.S. Attorney for Indiana’s southern district since 2010.He officially announced he will vacate the position through a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder Monday. He did not give a specific reason for his resignation.“It has been an honor to serve in this office for the last four years because I have had the privilege to do so alongside a talented group of Assistant United States Attorneys,” Hogsett said in the letter.He reflected on some challenges and accomplishments impacting his office in the resignation letter.“We have set new records for the number of defendants charged and the total number of criminal convictions. The office has let the nation in average length of sentences imposed on criminal defendants.”Some believe Hogsett is eyeing the Democratic nomination for Indianapolis mayor in 2015.last_img read more

Mrs. Helen Louise (Swearingen) Graham

Posted On Sep 24 2020 by

first_imgMrs. Helen Louise (Swearingen) Graham, age 89, of Vevay, Indiana, entered this life on April 13, 1928, in Adams County, Ohio, the daughter of the late, Christian and Ella Grace (Ayers) Swearingen. She was raised in Decatur, Ohio and was a 1946 graduate of the West Union High School in West Union, Ohio. Helen was united in marriage on June 21, 1952, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to the late, Nelson Lindsay “Red” Graham and to this union arrived three children to bless their home. Helen and Red shared 56 years of marriage together until Red passed away on December 16, 2008. In her early years of life, Helen was employed for Cole Bakes Insurance in Vevay, Indiana. Helen was later employed for Seagram’s Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, retiring in 1993, after 37 years of service. She was a member of the Ruter Chapel United Methodist Church in Vevay, Indiana and the Vevay American Legion Post !85 Ladies Auxiliary. Helen enjoyed sewing, working crossword puzzles, socializing with her family and friends and having a glass of wine overlooking the Ohio River. Helen passed away at 4:00 am, Friday, June 16, 2017, at the Swiss Villa Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Vevay, Indiana.Helen will be dearly missed by her daughter, Christi Dixon and her husband: David of Henderson, KY; her son, Mark Graham and his wife: Deanna of Vevay, IN; her grandchildren, Jesse Dixon and his wife: Kate, Neil Dixon and his wife: Meredith, Nathan Graham, and his wife: Taylor Natalie Dickerson and her husband: Josh, Evan Graham; her great-grandchildren, Tessa Dixon, Arya Dickerson and Nora Dixon; her brother, Dale Swearingen of Medina, OH; her sister, Sandy Ditmer of Hillsboro, OH; her sister-in-law, Jean Adkins of Versailles, IN and her several nieces and nephews.She was preceded in death by her parents, Christian and Ella Grace (Ayers) Swearingen; her husband, Nelson Lindsay “Red” Graham, died December 16, 2008; her son, Brett Lee Graham, died February 16, 2008 and her sister, Bobbie Holiday.Funeral services will be conducted Sunday, June 25, 2017, at 1:00 pm, by Rev. Mike Jones at the Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home, 208 Ferry Street Vevay, Indiana 47043. Interment will follow in the Vevay Cemetery, Vevay, Indiana.Friends may call 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, Sunday, June 25, 2017, at the Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home 208 Ferry Street Vevay, Indiana 47043. Memorial contributions may be made to Community Foundation of Switzerland County. Cards are available at the funeral home.last_img read more

Murphy qualifies for Rio

Posted On Sep 21 2020 by

first_img Press Association Ireland’s Annalise Murphy put in an impressive performance at the World Championships in Santander, Spain, to become the second sailor to qualify her country for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. She was delighted with her efforts and said: “I started the regatta pretty badly so it was difficult to back out on the second day and make Gold fleet. But I had a really good day and then continued to claw my way back up the fleet. “My primary goal for competing here was to win a medal but my secondary goal was to qualify to country. Unfortunately I didn’t quite reach my first goal but it’s great to have been able to qualify Ireland in the Laser Radial.” Earlier this week, James Espey qualified Ireland for the 2016 Games in the men’s single-handed class. center_img The 24-year-old from Dublin, who competes in the Laser Radial class, endured a mixed performance and put Ireland as the 21st-ranked nation overnight after coming home 28th on Tuesday in Spain, where only the top 19 nations can qualify for the Games. But Murphy fought back in the first of three races on Wednesday to come home in 13th before the final two races were cancelled due to a lack of wind as she finished 20th overall with Ireland qualifying as the 16th nation. last_img read more

Men’s volleyball to take on another ranked opponent

Posted On Sep 16 2020 by

first_imgRedshirt sophomore outside hitter Billy Fauntleroy believe’s in USC’s potential despite their 2-7 record.(Photo from USC Men’s Volleyball / Twitter) In the week’s practices leading up to the San Diego trip, head coach Jeff Nygaard focused on the front row’s footwork and across-the-court reading. The USC men’s volleyball team is gearing up to take on another ranked opponent in No. 15 UC San Diego at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Trojans, who are now 2-7 on the season, are looking for a bounceback after a close four-set loss to No. 4 UC Irvine last week. Overall, the Trojans are looking to kickstart conference play with a win that would turn around their road struggles and build positive in-game experience to look back on in order to further improve their season record. Of the Tritons’ eight wins, four have been three-set sweeps with multi-point leads perpetuated by winning the blocking game, something that USC is looking to accomplish this weekend. The Trojans’ net coverage will continue to be a necessity in stopping point runs. In UCSD’s three-set sweep over Concordia, junior outside hitter Kyle McCauley had 11 kills, followed by junior opposite hitter Collin Shannon’s nine kills that contributed to the offense’s .258 efficiency.  While middle blockers junior Sam Lewis and senior Vecas Lewin were able to cover ground and stop five Irvine hits, outside hitters have to recognize the setter’s move on the other side of the net and anticipate where the opposing hitter will be in time to block shots. This game is a departure from Mountain Pacific Sports Federation conference play and the team’s second west coast road game following a 3-2 set win at California State Northridge. The young team had to face high-level competition early in the season on the east coast with losses against No. 11 George Mason, No. 9 Penn State and No. 15 Ohio State and is now hungry to regain its ranked status from the preseason.center_img “To me, it has nothing to do with the school or the ranking,” Nygaard said. “It’s what are we going to come in as, so I expect us to go in there with the effort that we can win a match, with the mentality, with the game plan, with the energy, with passion — everything you want that we can go down there and compete for the W.” “That’s a space that I think we definitely have to put some time and energy into so that [we can say] ‘Hey, this guy’s going to hit this hit. We’ve got to get four hands in this space across the net to shut it down,’” Nygaard said. “If we can execute that well, then our defense is going to all of a sudden have these big open spaces that they know exactly where to be.” USC isn’t the only one coming in with a tough pre-conference schedule. The Tritons have had big wins against Loyola-Chicago, No. 12 Princeton and most recently No. 14 Concordia and improved to 8-3 overall.  A five-underclassmen lineup will have to hone in on in-game adjustments and anticipate UCSD’s offensive plays. The Trojans were outblocked 13-6 by Irvine with USC junior setter Chris Hall logging more successful blocks than all pin hitters combined. “I still think that we’re a top-three team in the nation,” redshirt sophomore outside hitter Billy Fauntleroy said. “We’re a young team, we’re just still learning how to play together. These young guys are learning how to play at a much higher level than they were half a year ago.” On USC’s side of the net, look out for offensive production from true freshman outside hitter Adam Flood, who led the team with 13 kills in his third game as a Trojan. Hall continues to prove his value as a key asset beyond his setting skills by leading the team in digs and making an impressionable impact in serving.last_img read more