David Van Asselt’s A Fable Officially Bows

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on June 28, 2014 A Fable takes into question how each choice we make can drastically change our ending. The adventure of Jonny, an idealist spurred on by love to right a long-forgotten wrong, A Fable follow his encounters with a whole cast of characters—colorful and corrupt, lucky and ill-fated—as they each grope their way through a landscape of nationwide strife and corporate greed. Related Shows David Van Asselt’s A Fable celebrates its opening night on May 22. Under the direction of Daniel Talbott, the play will run through June 28 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. A Fable View Comments The cast includes Edward Carnevale, Liza Fernandez, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Maxwell Hamilton, Jerry Matz, Hubert Point-Du Jour, Eileen Rivera, Pamela Shaw, Samantha Soule, Alok Tewari, Sanford Wilson and Gordon Joseph Weiss. The play features music by Elizabeth Swados, sets by John McDermott, costumes by Tristan Raines, lighting design by Joel Moritz, projection design by Kaitlyn Pietras and sound design by Janie Bullard.last_img read more

adminJanuary 18, 2021atrgnLeave a Comment

Read More

Garden Killer.

first_img Finally, Reeves shows a tree trunk on which hundreds of holes have appeared. It’s the handiwork of the yellow-bellied sapsucker. Squash vine borers are disgusting veggie killers in your garden. But on “The Georgia Gardener” July 29 and 31, host Walter Reeves shows how to turn the tables. Reeves talks with University of Georgia horticulturist Wayne McLaurin on how to identify and control squash vine borers. Call “The Georgia Gardener” toll-free number!* 1-877-GAGROWS *center_img They also visit a tire tower where they’ve been growing Irish potatoes. They find the potatoes — and a nasty surprise, too. “The Georgia Gardener” is especially for Georgia gardeners, airing Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m. on GPTV. It’s a production of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and PFC Holding Company.last_img read more

adminJanuary 17, 2021atrgnLeave a Comment

Read More

Fridays on the Fly: Check out the 2016 Tenkara Jam

first_imgThose cooler mornings and Autumn leaves are just around the corner in the Appalachian Range.  The last few weeks of comfortable wet-wading is upon us, and the fly fishing scenery is changing.  In fact, it’s changing in more ways than one. The tenkara activity in our Southern region is increasing every week.  Have you seen it on the river yet?The online social media group, Appalachian Tenkara Anglers, is still leading the movement in sharing everything there is to know about these ancient Japanese fly fishing rods. What started with the original four has grown into a very interactive community of thirteen hundred members.  This Facebook group is more like a dynamic blog with one hundred different authors. The deep knowledge base of experience here is tapped into daily, constantly challenging existing fly-fishing paradigms. This is a great resource to start or widen your tenkara experience. Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 12.50.37 PMLegendary fly fisherman Lefty Kreh attends last year’s Tenkara JamMore anglers are getting their hands on the fixed line fly rods and associated information, but how are they doing it?  Some are listening keenly to their friends that have already joined the sensation and then borrowing their rod for an outing.Others have attended the free five hour “Tenkara 101” class that I present for North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission six times a Summer at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education.  In that offering I will put a half dozen different rods in your hands for you to experience the balance and flex that these nine to fourteen foot rods provide.  You also can dive headfirst into a thousand hours of streaming video and a thousand more blog post on tactics and gear reviews. There is always the online resources from these rod companies. You will find close to a dozen reputable brands at company websites where you can purchase your gear straight from the source.  They offer great value in product pricing and you are afforded a single point of contact with tenkara smarts.  “Tenkara Bum”, “Badger Tenkara” and “Dragontail Tenkara” will come up pretty quickly in your favorite search engine.  Let’s not leave our Riverworks Tenkara that is crafting high end rods in Eastern Tennessee.There is a growing number of fly fishing shops and outfitters across our region that are authorized dealers for some of the leading brands of these telescopic rods.  Wouldn’t it be cool to have all this fixed line madness in one location?  I’ve been there before and let me tell you, it is pretty darn cool indeed.  This is the third year for the exposition that brings all this together into one place.  Let me tell you about the Tenkara Jam.  It is all things tenkara and then some.FB_IMG_1472829603244There will be over one hundred different models of rods that cover an entire spectrum of fixed line angling.This year the two-day Tenkara Jam will take place on the Eastern side of the Great Smoky Mountains in Cherokee, North Carolina. This will be the largest gathering on tenkara vendors in the United States this year. In this building will be the owners and operators of nearly all the established brands here in the US.  There will be over one hundred different models of rods that cover an entire spectrum of fixed line angling.  The event will also feature a line-up of presentations from some of the leading tenkara anglers in the United States?  This is a top-shelf list of friends that will be sharing lessons learned, tactical advice and advanced presentation techniques sure to help any fisher-person, regardless of your tool of choice.  This class room will be buzzing for two full days. To this let’s add all the attendees and the centuries of combined experience in fixed line angling they will possess. Who should consider coming to the “Tenkara Jam”? Everybody.  I could spend another ten paragraphs delivering my position in detail on these but I’ll keep it short for this blog post.New anglers.  What a great way to dive into fly fishing with a simple low cost method.Guides.  This long rod could help you get more cast in the water on your trips.Clubs. A great way to introduce fly fishing to large groups in minutes.Project Healing Waters.  A simple way to engage Vets and bring them into the program.Trout Unlimited.  A fantastic tool to increase interest and membership across all ages.Families.  A great way to get the entire family on the water.Outfitters.  This is an excellent product series to grow business in.Experienced Anglers.  This is a tool that will challenge your skill and enable incredible development in your “tackle box of tricks”.14231845_10153873051743097_1254875856020118900_oI continue to share these words often: “Tenkara gets Around”.  In a bit more than a half dozen years we have witnessed tenkara launch from grassroots efforts with the start on Tenkara USA to the branding efforts of Patagonia to bring tenkara and fixed line fly fishing to more and more people. Tenkara does get around.  How about you come join us and see what drives our passion with such a simple and effective fishing tool?  Come see us at The JAM !!Related:last_img read more

adminDecember 30, 2020atrgnLeave a Comment

Read More

National Recreation Areas

first_imgWhat They Are And Where To Experience ThemA mountain bike loop that plunges into one of the wildest corners of the Southeast. Trails to stunning natural bridges that welcome rather than forbid horseback riders. A backpacking route that takes trekkers across a prime stretch of the Cumberland Plateau without worries that it will be scarred by clearcut logging.These are all features of National Recreation Areas in the Southeast. It’s a varied group. Most are remote but one cuts through the region’s biggest metro area. They include some of the East’s biggest—and clearest—lakes, as well as its most ferocious rapids. Allowed uses range from hiking to riding all-terrain vehicles.Variety, in fact, is one of the few common qualities of National Recreation Areas. Each is created by its own federal law—a law that determines the government agency that supervises its operation and lists the activities that are and are not allowed. This can make forming new Recreation Areas a tough political process; witness the stalled plans to create the Pisgah and Grandfather national recreation areas. The upside: It puts power to determine uses of public land where it should be—with nearby residents, environmental groups and businesses interests, says Sam Evans, a lawyer with the Southern Environmental Law Center.“That’s the important thing about Recreation Areas. The designation is flexible enough to allow the people who use and protect these lands to decide what is special about them in the long run.”The other common thread of National Recreation Areas is right in the name; they encourage residents to go out and enjoy natural tracts such as these, some of the Southeast’s best destinations for mountain biking, paddling and hiking.Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area (featured) Bring food, water and at least one friend when mountain biking the Huckleberry Trail in the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area, said Travis Olson.“When you go down the Huckleberry, you’re really getting into the deep woods. You need to be self-sufficient,” said Olson, an avid mountain biker and the organizer of the annual Gravel Race Up Spruce Mountain (GRUSK).He usually does the Huckleberry as part of a 50-mile loop that includes one of two routes in the recreation area designated as Epic by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. It includes a bombing descent from 4,862-foot Spruce Knob, the highest point in West Virginia. This brings riders into “these really lush zones, which are almost like rain forests,” Olson said, followed by the Falls of Seneca “which are really remote and incredibly beautiful.”It may be his favorite ride in Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks—unless it’s the other Epic, the North Fork Mountain Trail, which “follows a really narrow ridge for 24 miles, so you get these incredibly vast views,” he says.The rides are far from the only attraction at Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks, established in 1965 as the first National Recreation Area supervised by the U.S. Forest Service, but they are typical. The Recreation Area covers about 100,000 of the more than 900,000-acre Monongahela National Forest in eastern West Virginia. Its main draws are wilderness and adventure. Ask people about it and you’ll hear words such as “remote,” “backcountry” and “rugged.”That last description especially fits Seneca Rocks, a 40-minute drive north of Spruce Knob and one of the most famous rock-climbing destinations in the East—a bastion of “trad” climbers who carry their own gear and remove it once they complete the pitch.“Seneca Rocks is a freak of nature in the climbing world,” said Tom Cecil, 57, the owner of Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides and North Fork Adventures, who has been climbing here since 1973. The fin-shaped ridge juts 1,100 feet up from the valley floor and is topped with “300 feet of vertical rock,” he said. “Seneca has cracks and corners and overhangs and every type of architecture.” Of the roughly 300 established routes, he said, about 110 are “super-high quality, the greatest hits that people come here to do.”Not that you need to be super skilled or super fit to enjoy the area. The mountain bike trails that Olson raved about are also open to hikers. One of the area’s most acclaimed trails, the Spruce Knob/Seneca Creek loop, is just the right length, 16.5 miles, for either a monster day hike or more leisurely overnight backpacking trip.Visitors who have the desire to climb but not the skills or equipment, can spend a day at NROCKS, which not only offers caving trips, zip lines and canopy tours, but also one of the nation’s first “via ferrata” courses. Italian for “way of iron,” this feature provides harnessed climbers with stainless steel rungs to ascend dramatic outcroppings on private land south of Seneca Rocks.PlayAttend Treasure Mountain Festival held in September in Franklin, W.Va. The festival has celebrated mountain culture for 50 years and includes quilting displays, musical performances, and beard-growing and turkey-calling contests.StayAt Canaan Valley Resort State Park, a half-hour north of Seneca Rocks. It offers 160 rooms as well as cabins and campsites, golfing and mountain-bike rentals. Many of its 18 miles of trails connect to longer routes in the Monongahela National Forest.EatVisit the Front Porch Restaurant, Seneca Rocks. Situated above Harper’s Olde General Store, its namesake porch features stunning views of town’s namesake rocks. “I love the pizza at the Front Porch,” Olson said.Photo: Drew HudginsLand Between the Lakes National Recreation Area This recreation area has less to do with seeking adventure than with soaking up scenery and heritage. The most treasured views are not of mountains, but of calm, clear Kentucky and Barkley lakes—two of the largest such bodies of water in the East.“It’s just a peaceful place to be,” says Cindy Sholar, administrative assistant with the nearby Cadiz-Trigg County Tourist & Convention Commission.Covering 170,000 acres, it extends north to within a few miles of the Ohio River and south to beyond the Tennessee state line. It contains 500 miles of trails, many of them open to both mountain bikers and hikers, as well as 200 miles of forest roads. The prime backpacking route is the 56-mile North/South Trail, the northern portion of which passes seven seasonal springs, offers frequent views of Kentucky Lake, and skirts several of the estimated 240 cemeteries in the Recreation Area.Land Between the Lakes is one of the few places in the East to spot bison and elk, which were reintroduced in 1996. The recreation areas contain about 50 bison and 50 elk. Controlled burns and grazing keep sections of the land open and offer clear views for visitors who access the prairie’s 3.5-mile driving loop for a charge of $5 per car. At least the views are usually clear, Fowler said. “You can sometimes have four or five big old elk laying in that tall grass and nobody can see them.”The region’s 19th-century history is celebrated at The Homeplace, which is run as a 1850s-era working farm, with staffers and volunteers engaged in such activities as shearing sheep, spinning yarn, raising heritage chickens and pigs, and growing heirloom vegetables. “It’s a great place for folks to see how things used to be done,” said Emily Cleaver, a spokeswoman for the Forest Service.PlayDetour north to visit Paducah, KY, formerly a gritty river town transformed into a regional arts mecca designated as one of UNESCO’s Creative Cities. Attractions include the National Quilt Museum, and its transformative Artist Relocation Program has served as a model for cities across the country.StayIn a houseboat, the ideal way to soak up views of the lakes and access the wooded shoreline of Land Between the Lakes. Rentals are available at several marinas, including the Kenlake Marina at Kenlake State Park.EatAt Cap’n Jim’s Grill, on a peninsula on the eastern shore of Lake Barkley. “One of my favorite things to do is go to Cap’n Jim’s on a Saturday night when the water is just like glass,” Sholar said.Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area It’s one thing to read that Big South Fork contains the highest concentration of natural arches in the East, another to see it on the ground, said Scott Phillips, owner of Backwoods Adventures guiding service. “In a lot of places, you can hike up to an arch and go around to the other side of the hill,” he said, “and right there you’ll see another arch.”The most famous of these formations is Twin Arches, a pair of natural bridges that top out at more than 100 feet high. Combined, this formation is the largest of its kind east of the Mississippi River.These arches are far from the only appeal of Big South Fork, said Phillips. “Big South Fork caters to pretty much any outdoor activity. It’s sort of a one-stop wilderness destination.”Big South Fork, which in 1974 became the first National Recreation Area formed under the supervision of the National Park Service, covers 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau in eastern Kentucky and Tennessee. It is adjacent to the 700,000-acre Daniel Boone National Forest and near several smaller state parks. And though its visitors pump about $10 million into the local economy, according to the National Park Service website, it attracts fewer than 700,000 annual visitors. That number has dropped since the early 2000s, and is a tiny fraction of the count at popular destinations such as Great Smoky Mountain National Park, which draws more than 11 million tourists per year.Among the many attractions available to the park’s relatively few visitors, according to the Park Service: 141 miles of hiking trails, 182 miles of horse trails, 24 miles of mountain bike trails, and 244 miles of streams. That includes the north-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland which the American Whitewater website calls “one of the hidden crown jewels of the Cumberland Plateau.” The 6.2-mile stretch between confluence of streams that form the river and Leatherwood Ford includes several Class III and Class IV rapids, the site said, though the roughness of these runs varies with water flow, said Keila Egedi, of the Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort in Corbin, Ky.“This is not dam-release rafting,” she said. “We are totally dependent on Mother Nature and on how she feels.”The company offers guided rafting trips of the upstream section of the river on weekends from mid-April to mid-May, when water level are usually highest. It rents canoes and kayaks on downriver sections, which, though tamer, include rapids rough enough that the company requires them to be portaged by rental clients. No matter the route, she said, the views of the clear, cliff-lined river are spectacular. “The Big South Fork is just plain gorgeous,” she said.Backpackers can choose between two routes suitable for multi-day treks, the 44-mile John Muir Trail, and the 319-mile Sheltowee Trace, which extends north deep into Daniel Boone. Premier day hikes include the 6-mile Twin Arches Trail Loop and the 5.6-mile out-and-back hike to the Angel Falls Overlook, which offers what Park Service literature calls an “awe-inspiring view” of the Big South Fork.Hikers will see not only natural bridges, but another of the Plateau’s trademark formations—rock overhangs. And the park’s dense hardwood forests and clear, rhododendron-lined streams are sparsely populated versions of sights common at more popular destinations.“It’s not like the Smokies where you run into somebody every 15 minutes,” Phillips said. “You can go for days here without seeing another living soul.”PlayAttend one of the series of events, including storytelling sessions and an annual planting festival, at the park’s Brandy Creek Visitor Center and the Blue Heron Interpretive Center.StayAt Charit Creek Lodge (Ccl-bsf.com), which like the Smokies’ famous LeConte Lodge, offers comfortable lodging and dining in a wilderness setting. Charit is accessible only to hikers, mountain bikers, and horse riders.EatAt Simply Fresh, in Jamestown. Selections include steaks, dinner salads and shrimp tacos. “Their food is amazing,” Phillips said.Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area Sally Bethea lives within the city limits of Atlanta and less than two miles from the Georgia State Capitol building. It’s about as urban as the Southeast gets.And yet, she said, “I can get to the lower end of the Recreation Area in probably 20 minutes.”Which sums up the appeal of Chattahoochee River NRA, a series of 15 park units called “the string of pearls,” scattered along 48 miles of the river from the northern fringe of Atlanta’s metropolitan area to its downtown. Signed into existence by President (and former Georgia Governor) Jimmy Carter in 1978 and managed by the National Park Service, the park is the city cousin in a generally backwoods clan of National Recreation Areas. Because of its proximity to the nearly 6 million residents of greater Atlanta, the park’s visitor totals and economic impact dwarf those of most other Recreation Areas; a recent Park Service study found the Chattahoochee drew more than 2.7 million visitors in 2016, supported 1,841 jobs and created a total economic benefit of $166 million. To encourage even more tourism and preservation, this stretch of the Chattahoochee was named the nation’s first National River Trail in 2012.But the Chattahoochee wouldn’t be so popular if it looked like it ran through a big city, said Bethea, who retired from her longtime role as Chattahoochee Riverkeeper in 2014 and now serves as board president of the Chattahoochee Parks Conservancy Inc. (chattahoocheeparks.org).“There’s this wonderful section of the river flowing through what’s called the Palisades,” she said. “Depending on water levels, you might see a little bit of white water, the Devil’s Race Course, where you may be dodging some rocks, and then around the corner you come to Diving Rock. The whole area is just beautiful on both sides of the river, with the vegetation you would find in North Georgia . . . rhododendron and mountain laurel.”One of the kayak rental landings run by Nantahala Outdoor Center is just off Interstate 285. But once you “get around the first bend you would never know you were near a city. It’s a great escape from the hustle and bustle,” said concession manager George Virgo.The other outpost is at Johnson’s Ferry North, where southbound paddlers encounter flatter water flowing through upscale residential neighborhoods before reaching Park units that contain some of the Recreation Area’s 80-plus miles of trails. Among the most popular spots is Cochran Shoals, a hub for afterwork trail runs and weekend hiking and mountain biking excursions. It can get crowded, Virgo said, and so can the river. But the shallow water discourages motor boats and paddlers can easily avoid the rowdier floating parties, which tend to form late in the afternoon on Saturdays and Sundays.“If you come from Monday to Friday you’ll usually have the place to yourself,” he said. “And if you get out early in the morning, it’s beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous.”The upriver basin contains little agriculture or industry, Bethea said, and the water quality is good enough to support a thriving fish population. When the water warms in the summer, striped bass, or “stripers,” are the main prey, Virgo said. The cold water released from Lake Lanier at the northern end of the National Recreation Area supports trout in nearby sections of the river throughout the year, and in the winter trout can be found in good numbers even on the lower, warmer stretches, Bethea says. “A half hour from downtown Atlanta, you can be fishing for trout.”PlayTo the Back to the Chatt River Race and Festival, hosted by the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. Held annually for 16 years, it features races of different lengths, a beer barge, and a boat decoration contest.StayCamping is not permitted in the park and riverside lodging is scarce, but airbnb.com lists several options with river access, from single rooms to whole houses.EatAt Heirloom Market BBQ, a few blocks from Cochran Shoals, it’s a mecca of Korean-style barbecue in the Deep South. “It’s phenomenal,” Virgo said.Gauley River National Recreation Area The whitewater at the Gauley, in southern West Virginia, is far more challenging than the Chattahoochee’s tame riffles or, for that matter, just about any whitewater in the East. Even the normally subdued website of the National Park Service practically bursts its buttons raving about the river’s rapids:“Dropping more than 668 feet through 25 miles of rugged terrain, the Gauley . . . features more than 100 rapids with a steep gradient, technical runs, an incredible volume of water and huge waves. Its vigorous rapids, scenic quality and inaccessibility combine to make Gauley River one of the premier whitewater runs in the world.”The Recreation Area, which was established in 1988 and is operated by the Park Service, protects the gorges along 25 miles of the Gauley and nearly six miles of the Meadow River. The height of the rafting season, which annually attracts about 60,000 visitors, lasts only a few weekends after Labor Day, when the Summersville Dam begins releasing huge volumes of water.“It’s like Christmas,” says PJ Stevenson, a marketing director and longtime guide for Adventures on the Gorge, a company formed by four of the oldest rafting services on the river. “People come here from all over the world, guides and clients alike.”The first set of Class V rapids is called Insignificant, partly because it “doesn’t look like much going in,” and partly out of “total irony.”“In the middle section you come to this huge hydraulic. You have to get on one side or the other or it’s not going to be pretty,” Stevenson said.The name of another famous run is also misleading, she says. There is nothing comfortable about Pillow Rock, she said. “There is just a lot of volume of water pushing right into this giant rock,” she said. Pillow is followed by two hydraulics waiting to trap fallen paddlers, the Toilet Bowl and the Room of Doom, and a car-sized boulder called Volkswagen Rock.In lower water, companies lead tours of inflatable kayaks called duckies. And in warm weather, tourists flock to Summersville Lake, above the dam, the largest lake in West Virginia. Its clear, deep water is ideal for scuba diving and all forms of flatwater boating, “including stand-up paddle boarding, which has become immensely popular,” said Marianne Taylor, executive director of the Summersville Convention and Visitors’ Bureau.And paddlers should not become so absorbed with running rapids that they ignore the animal and plant life that thrive in a distinctive habitat created by the rapidly flowing water and dramatic elevation changes. Federally protected species in the park include the Allegheny woodrat, cerulean warbler, Eastern hellbender,  and finescale saddled darter. Among its rare plants are the Appalachian blue Violet, balsam squaw-weed and Virginia spirea.PlayAttend the Gauley Fest, an annual celebration of the Summersville Dam release featuring a whitewater marketplace and live entertainment.StayAt Summersville Lake Retreat, which offers cabins and campgrounds on the shore of the lake just north of the Recreation Area.EatAt Maloney’s Pub in Summerville, which serves stir-fries and wraps along with standard bar food, and is packed with sports memorabilia and television screens. “It’s just a nice laid-back place to go after a day on the water,” Taylor says.last_img read more

adminDecember 30, 2020atrgnLeave a Comment

Read More

Interview with the Head of the Brazilian Armed Forces Joint General Staff, Gen. José de Nardi

first_img Diálogo – How do you see the participation of the Brazilian Armed Forces in actions such as the retaking of some of the slums in Rio de Janeiro? General De Nardi – Participating in contingents like Minustah plays an important role in increasing troop training and the participation of the Armed Forces in peace operations, joining UN peace forces or those of regional multilateral organizations. Fulfilling international commitments is a valuable instrument of foreign policy, positively projecting Brazil’s image on the international scene. Aside from these aspects, it can also be considered a demonstration of dedication and responsibility in contributing to preserving world peace and security, reinforcing the principles of multilateralism and the peaceful resolution of disputes. I would also emphasize the important aspect of relationships and integration with armed forces of other countries. Regarding its role as a regional power, Brazil understands it to be much more important to participate, as another member, in the joint and regional efforts of all the South American countries. In this way, it is seeking to establish an eminently regional position in several aspects, among which is its relationship to the defense of the subcontinent. On September 6th, 2010, Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim appointed Gen. José Carlos de Nardi as the first Head of the Armed Forces Joint General Staff. The position was aligned with the new National Defense Strategy and was created after the Ministry of Defense’s reorganization. On the day of the appointment, Minister Jobim made a point of saying that the new position has nothing to do with the prior Head of the Armed Forces General Staff (EMFA – Estado Maior das Forças Armadas). The new position is hierarchically equivalent to the commanders of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, and General De Nardi is responsible for deploying the Armed Forces on joint exercises, for instance, while it is the commanders’ responsibility to train each of their respective forces. During his first visit to the U.S. Southern Command since he took on his new functions, in March, General De Nardi spoke with Diálogo. General De Nardi – In Brazil there is a constitutional charge to secure law and order, within predetermined parameters of time and space, without the Armed Forces taking on police functions, in other words, keeping their focus chiefly on homeland defense, the fundamental role of any armed force. In Brazil, police activity is limited to the country’s public-safety agencies. Along the border, the Armed Forces have police powers only in order to support actions that may perhaps have to be taken in fulfillment of their constitutional mission, and not in order to replace other public-safety actors operating in the same area. Diálogo – How can Brazil help other countries in the region in this regard? And in regard to partnership in the fight against drug trafficking? Diálogo – What is the situation of the countries where Brazil has a peace-keeping presence, like Haiti and now Lebanon? Diálogo – On what does the success of the Armed Forces’ support for the police depend? Diálogo – What is going to be the participation of the Brazilian Armed Forces in events such as the World Cup and the Olympic Games, in terms of VIP security, in the streets, stadiums, etc.? center_img General De Nardi – The Armed Forces’ participation in retaking slums in Rio de Janeiro is provided for in the Federal Constitution, in Article 142: To secure law and order. In keeping with recommendations, their use in activities of this kind should occur episodically and in a restricted and predetermined area. This is precisely the context in which federal troops are acting in underprivileged communities in Rio de Janeiro. Diálogo – Why is it important for Brazil to participate in contingents like Minustah? What is Brazil’s role as a regional and international power, and how do the Armed Forces contribute to this? General De Nardi – There is no idea of cooperation among the armed forces of South America on matters of a police nature. What does exist is the possibility for the armed forces to act along the border, in constitutional situations and without a view toward replacing other public-safety agencies. The approach to issues linked to drug trafficking is directly linked to the Ministry of Justice. Integration of the South American nations via an international cooperation plan that aggregates police technology and intensifies intelligence actions is the model that will be sought for the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime between Brazil and neighboring countries. General De Nardi – Initially, it is important to emphasize that Brazil only acts with forces keeping peace and not with forces imposing peace, in observance of the provisions of the Federal Constitution and always under the aegis of international organizations, such as the UN and the OAS. The situation in these countries, according to the UN, requires stronger support from the international community, which is being provided through the presence of peace forces, including with Brazilian participation. By Dialogo June 21, 2011 General De Nardi – The Brazilian Armed Forces will participate as an integral element of a greater context, in which various other actors will be equally involved. Their use for security activities will be strictly within the anticipated constitutional and legal limits, seeking to collaborate for the success of all the events mentioned. The experience already acquired through participation in large events like the 2007 Pan-American Games will serve as an important base for the activities carried out. The participation of the Armed Forces in both events, however, will still be a subject to be decided by the Brazilian government in future agreements on the matter.last_img read more

adminDecember 20, 2020atrgnLeave a Comment

Read More

Political Prisoners Incommunicado amid COVID-19 Crisis in Venezuela

first_imgBy Diálogo July 13, 2020 The Venezuelan nongovernmental organization (NGO) Foro Penal revealed that there were 451 political prisoners detained in police and intelligence facilities of Venezuela as of the first week of June.This represents a 35 percent increase over the number of prisoners of conscience recorded by the same organization in March, showing that the political conflict has not ceased in Venezuela, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.The Organization of American States (OAS) takes Foro Penal’s figures as a reference, according to Luis Almagro, OAS secretary general. Gonzalo Himiob, a lawyer and representative of the NGO, said that some of the reasons for the arrests are discontent over public utility failures, such as electricity and drinking water, as well as gas shortages. Likewise, many people have been imprisoned as a result of procedures from the Military Counterintelligence General Directorate (DGCIM, in Spanish). Among the detained are three Bolivarian National Guard (GNB, in Spanish) captains, who were allegedly involved in a failed attempt to take over a post of that component in Puerto Morocha, Miranda state, in mid-April.DGCIM agents have deprived civilians and service members of their liberty, with practices that Himiob said can be considered as forced disappearances, since the means of communications of detainees are cut off for weeks, with authorities withholding information about their whereabouts to lawyers and family members.“Officially, they never give you an answer. You go [to the DGCIM] and they tell you that the person you are looking for is not there. This is very common at the DGCIM. That’s why we talk about forced disappearances,” he said.Himiob said that detainees are oftentimes not the subject of an investigation, but rather a close family member. This means that actions by intelligence agents serve as a form of pressure, to force the person being sought after to surrender. For example, a case reported in early 2020 involved the arrest of three relatives of GNB Captain Anyelo Heredia, who managed to escape from the Ramo Verde prison in late 2019, after being imprisoned for three years.Prisoners lacking spaceIn addition to a lack of communication with the outside world, prisoners of conscience in Venezuela are held in overcrowded facilities.An April report by Una Ventana a la Libertad (A Window to Freedom, UVL in Spanish), a Venezuelan NGO dedicated to defending prisoners’ human rights, reveals that the cells of the DGCIM headquarters in Caracas held about 100 people in March. The facilities have a capacity to accommodate 52 inmates. Overcrowding, said UVL director Carlos Nieto Palma, has reached 92 percent.Nieto said that the decision to send a detainee to a DGCIM or a Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN, in Spanish) cell is clearly political.“There is no established protocol to make the decision. If you are a service member, the balance will tip toward the DGCIM, as most people held there are active or former service members,” he said.However, Nieto added that at the time the report was being completed, people like Juan José Márquez, a civilian and uncle of Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaidó, were held at the DGCIM. Márquez was detained on February 11, 2020, when he arrived at the Caracas airport, accused of carrying explosives in his baggage. On June 2, he was put under house arrest.The inmate population has increased at the SEBIN facilities as well. This comes after several months when it seemed that the overcrowding problem had been solved. In March, the UVL report counted 137 detainees.Nieto said that neither United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet nor representatives from her office have been able to access the DGCIM and SEBIN detention centers so far. He added that inmates are held incommunicado, under the pretext that it is a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.The UVL report was sent to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the U.N. Committee against Torture, and members of Bachelet’s office in Caracas.last_img read more

adminDecember 20, 2020atrgnLeave a Comment

Read More

Credit union grows ATM deposits 68% through high-tech, high-touch strategy

first_img 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jennifer Quimson Jennifer Quimson is the Marketing Coordinator at Bluepoint Solutions and oversees the company’s customer communications including newsletters, email campaigns, social media channels, and resource development. Quimson holds a master’… Web: www.bluepointsolutions.com Details Credit Union 1 ($935 million, 14 branches) serves a far-flung member base, spanning the entire state of Alaska. In order to broaden the accessibility to key financial services around the clock, the credit union launched a comprehensive ATM replacement project in December 2012, installing 7 Check 21-enabled ATMs from Diebold paired with ATM check capture from Bluepoint Solutions. This addition allows the credit union to meet members where and when they want to bank, enabling increased member engagement through the use of technology. Use of the ATM channel has increased significantly, with deposit growth at 68% between July 2013 and December 2014.According to a 2014 Capgemini study, ATMs are the second most commonly used banking channel, while the traditional branch channel continues to decline. Image-enabled ATMs are a critical part of Credit Union 1’s long-term strategy to meet consumer demand for greater convenience and self-service options. These ATMs allow members to deposit checks around the clock, without having to visit a branch location during regular business hours. Mercator Advisory Group, in their 2014 ATM Market Benchmark Report, predicts the number of ATMs worldwide to increase over 25% by the year 2017.Bluepoint Solutions recently sat down with Rachel Langtry, SVP of Administration and Communications of Credit Union 1, to discuss the credit union’s success with remote deposit capture through image-enabled ATMs. When asked about whether or not the addition to the ATM channel affected branch and call center traffic, Rachel mentioned, “When we sought to add this service, our goal was not necessarily to reduce branch and call center traffic, but it was rather to increase our arsenal of available options for members to interact with us. Our focus is on high-tech and high-touch as we meet our members wherever they want to do business through any channel. By making sure we have every option available for them to choose from, we will increase member engagement and bolster our relationships, especially with the younger generation.”Read the full case study here. http://www.bluepointsolutions.com/case-studies/credit-union-1/last_img read more

adminDecember 18, 2020atrgnLeave a Comment

Read More

Consumers crave digital account opening capabilities

first_img 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Javelin identifies digital account opening adoption rates and perceived weaknesses.Bankers who are intent on preparing for the day when digital channels will dominate account opening should rethink their timing. That day might already have arrived. The checking account – the foundational bank account that Americans have long established face to face at a branch – is at a tipping point with 70 percent of likely applicants saying they would prefer to submit a digital application in 2015.The far-reaching implications apply not only to the “branch of the future” but also to the branch-centric culture of banking itself. Javelin Strategy & Research’s report, Digital Account Opening Reaches the Tipping Point, finds Americans are increasingly comfortable with digital channels to open various financial accounts. It also recommends strategies for financial institutions to optimize the omni-channel experience to maximize the number of completed and qualified applications.In 2014, more Americans applied for credit cards and a variety of loan and investment accounts through online and mobile channels – with the volume of applications on smartphones and tablets jumping more than 60 percent for auto loans, mortgages, and credit cards. The upshot is that retail banking is facing a fundamental and irreversible shift. The branch-centric culture of banking will need to comingle with digital channels to deliver a consistent consumer omni-channel experience.While digital account opening is winning for many, there are still several perceived weaknesses that financial institutions must address. Notably, for digital channels to gain usage, they must counter the perception that branches have the edge when it comes to protecting personal data (69 percent vs. 31 percent) and for obtaining answers to questions (60 percent vs. 40 percent). continue reading »last_img read more

adminDecember 18, 2020atrgnLeave a Comment

Read More

If everyone’s a superhero, no one’s a superhero

first_img continue reading » Seth Godin, an acclaimed American author, blogger and business strategist, has repeatedly stood by the mantra “Treat different customers differently if you want them to remember you.”  Many managers make the mistake of insisting that all members should be treated the same, or similarly stated, that all members should be treated the best. In the words of Syndrome (aka the villain in Disney’s The Incredibles): “when everyone is super, no one will be.” If you are striving to treat all members the best every time, not only is it unrealistic and exhausting your resources, the perception becomes your best is normal, and when certain situations demand even more than your normal, you simply can’t out-better your best. So how should your credit union treat all members differently? The experts aren’t suggesting you treat only a few members well and the rest you ignore. What they are saying is that different members may warrant different treatment at different times. The key is defining the factors and attributes of a member that demand these different levels of member service. Is the decision based solely on pure revenue the member brings to your bottom line? Or is it the length of time with your credit union that determines their level of support? How does a member’s community status as a leader/blogger/media member play into the services they receive? Godin contends that the only way you can treat different members differently is if you understand that their values (and their value to you) vary. Profitability. The Pareto principle commonly referred to as the 80/20 rule, contends that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In practice at credit unions, it is used widely in marketing and member service strategy as a theory for understanding the impact of different members on your credit union overall. In essence, the idea is one-fifth of your members are responsible for four-fifths of profitability. While rarely are the numbers exact across all credit unions nationwide, it is likely that your top 20% of members are responsible for a much larger proportion of your revenue, either directly with their own accounts and services, or indirectly through their referrals as evangelists to your brand. Arm your MSRs with the member information they need to make informed decisions. Some core processors have a member profitability graph which staff can view to know how much money the credit union makes off of any given member. This can be key information to know how much you can bend for a member and the greater good i.e. refund a $20 late fee because you earn $500 in interest income from the member every year. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

adminDecember 17, 2020atrgnLeave a Comment

Read More

Binghamton house with a tragic past demolished

first_imgBefore construction crews got started, Cheri’s mom, Jean Lindsey, took the first swing. She says it’s a moment she’s waited so long for. With efforts from the Broome County Executive’s Office, and the Lindsey family, the house was torn down Thursday morning. David and Jean Lindsey, Cheri’s parents, live right down the street from the house. They say it’s a sight that has brought them pain every day for the past 36 years. Before saying one last goodbye, Jean put a final token in the house. With the house sitting empty, Broome County purchased the property in an effort to bring closure for so many around the tragic death. “The closest they can come to closure is seeing this place knocked down. For it to be no more, ever again,” said Broome County Executive Jason Garnar. “This is just a chapter closed, one of the worst chapters,” said David Lindsey. center_img “I never thought the day would come, and it’s here, and I’m like, ‘Oh, wow'” said Jean. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — 6 1/2 Sturges Street is the house where 12-year-old Cheri Lindsey was raped and murdered in March of 1984. “That was her bag that she kept her papers in, and it was in the house, and they gave it to me. The house is coming down, and the paper bag is going with it,” said Jean. While this is a big victory for the Lindsey family, they say the battle is not over yet. James Wales, the man convicted of killing Cheri, will be up for parole again in March of 2021.last_img read more

adminDecember 8, 2020atrgnLeave a Comment

Read More