Electric Beethoven, New Mastersounds, & More Contributed To A Benefit Album For Louisiana Flood Victims

first_imgAs part of an ongoing effort to help those affected by the devastating floods in Louisiana this summer, Music For Relief, a nonprofit dedicated disaster relief and environmental preservation, has launched a campaign called #LouisianaStrong that brings artists, event organizers, and music industry executives together to help the cause.#LouisianaStrong includes multiple different music-related campaigns to benefit victim relief. On the initiative’s website, you can enter donation-based contests to win a variety of VIP “experiences” at different concerts and events, including Desert Trip, Blink-182‘s upcoming Irving, CA show, Voodoo Music + Arts Festical, III Points Festival.The campaign also includes a portion called “Download To Donate”, which rewards any donation of $5 or more with a download of an 18-track #LouisianaStrong compilation album. The multi-genre project features several unreleased tracks including Bassnectar‘s 2015 remix of “Roustabout” by Beats Antique and Reed Mathis‘ new Electric Beethoven project, as well as a song from Phil Lesh‘s Terrapin Crossroads house band, San Geronimo.The #LouisianaStrong compilation also features original songs by Gramatik, Citizen Cope, Boreta of The Glitch Mob, Dumpstaphunk, Nahko and Medicine for the People, The New Mastersounds and more.Click here to donate to the cause and download the compilation.Full Track Listing:01 Rising Appalachia & the Human Experience – Mississippi Song02 Reed Mathis & Electric Beethoven – Thunderstorm03 Gramatik – Anima Mundi ft. Russ Liquid04 Shana Halligan – Something Real05 Boreta of The Glitch Mob – Honey Heart06 Z-Trip – Fury ft. Jack Dangers07 Beats Antique – Roustabout [Bassnectar Remix 2015]08 Born Dirty – Butter [VIP]09 Citizen Cope – Lifeline (Figure Remix)10 Moondog Matinee – Bourbon Street11 Dirtwire – The Well ft. Rising Appalachia12 Jake Houston – Hold Me13 San Geronimo – Better Days14 The New Mastersounds – Monday Meters15 Nahko & Medicine for the People – Build a Bridge (Live)16 Whitney Myer – Somehow17 Dumpstaphunk – They Don’t CareBonus 01 – Megan Slankard – Big Heavy (Richard Xavier Remix)Bonus 02 – Cane Hill – When The Evil Go Eastlast_img read more

Good works, and fine experience

first_imgFor people without adequate health care, a simple trip to the dentist can be life altering.Lisa Simon found that out last summer while visiting underserved populations in western Massachusetts as part of a new University-wide program that supports public service. A student at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Simon shadowed workers in the dental department of the Holyoke Health Center, which provides dental services to people in need, including low-income residents, retired veterans, and prisoners in the county jail.“Seeing the dramatic difference you can make in someone’s life when you are really addressing simple needs — needs that I think people who have access to dental care don’t appreciate — was really, really striking,” Simon said.Simon, who is interested in the integration of dental and primary care and the use of health information technology in rural areas, also developed some recommendations on how to better address public health needs in the Holyoke community. The work offered her invaluable hands-on experience, she said, and helped her to reflect on her chosen path.“Being exposed to just how great oral health care need can be in certain communities keeps reminding me why I chose dentistry. … It’s a place where one really passionate person can make a big difference.”Making a difference is at the core of the Harvard initiative that she participated in, and that is currently accepting its next group of applicants. Harvard President Drew Faust today launched the second year of the Presidential Public Service Fellowship Program, which supplies grants to Harvard students in public service during the summer.The Presidential Public Service Fellowship Program, which supplies grants to Harvard students in public service during the summer, is accepting applications. At an April luncheon, President Drew Faust (left) spoke to the first round of fellowship recipients. File photo by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer“It’s been remarkable for me to watch as every year more and more students transform their own lives by making a real difference in the lives of others through public service,” said Faust. “Harvard began as an institution for the public good, and our commitment to serving others is at the heart of our identity, and at the heart of our purpose as a research university.”Established by Faust with the help of an anonymous donor, the program awards 10 fellowships to undergraduates and graduates who pursue a range of projects, including government and community service, nongovernmental organization and nonprofit work, and innovative efforts to serve the common good. The grants are for up to $5,000 for undergraduates and $8,000 for graduate students.Last summer, Harvard junior Carolyn Chou helped recent immigrant youth to improve academically and have fun. Chou ran the Boston Refugee Youth Enrichment Summer Program (BRYE), one of 12 summer camps coordinated by Harvard’s Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA), with support from the fellowship program.Chou, who has mentored young urban women through PBHA’s Athena and Leaders! programs, and has worked previously in a tutoring, mentoring, and summer programming capacity with BRYE, enjoyed taking a leadership role in the program.“It was a really exciting opportunity to take ownership of a program and learn all of the things that go into running, in this case, a summer program, but I think any youth nonprofit program,” said Chou. She planned the camp’s curriculum, activities, and field trips. She recruited children and hired staff during the spring. While the camp was in session, she observed classes, offered teachers feedback, and took part in afternoon enrichment activities.Running the camp gave her both a good balance of day-to-day administrative tasks, she said, and a sense of how to envision broader goals for the program, including “what it should look like, what skills it should impart to the kids, and what kind of environment I want to create.”Gene Corbin (from left), assistant dean of student life for public service, fellowship recipient Carolyn Chou ’13, and Catherine McLaughlin, executive director of the Institute of Politics, discuss public service during the spring luncheon. File photo by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerChou, who intends to continue with nonprofit or advocacy work after graduation, said the summer experience also kept her focused on a future career.“It’s really important to have an experience like the one I had this summer to stay grounded and to understand what I would be fighting or advocating for down the line.”For former police officer and current Harvard Law School student Sean Driscoll, investigating check fraud, money laundering, and insider trading were all part of his summer experience as an assistant in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.In addition to “mooting” — practicing opening and closing statements with attorneys – Driscoll conducted legal research, interviewed witnesses, and worked closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in preparing cases for trial.The scholarship helped take the pressure off the need for a well-paying job during the summer, Driscoll said, and gave him critical experience in the field.“I was able to do a job I really wanted to do and not be far behind financially, and be far ahead personally in terms of getting the experience I wanted.”Participants agreed that connecting with similar-minded students in various service projects is another important aspect of the program.“It creates a real community and the feeling that you are not alone in doing this type of work,” said Driscoll, who hopes the program eventually will create a vital network of Harvard alumni involved in public service, one that future Harvard students can then tap into.The students praised the University for its support of public service work and the strong message it is sending with the fellowships.Chou said the program signals that at Harvard “public service is important, and it’s present, and it’s something we are willing to invest in.”Driscoll agreed, saying, “To have a Harvard-wide statement … that this is something that the President’s Office, that President Faust herself values … it’s sending a message.” <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPUCmn_F7Ww” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/zPUCmn_F7Ww/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a>last_img read more

Officials: no Super Bowl threat amid rise of white supremacy

first_imgTAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Law enforcement officials say there is no specific threat of an attack connected to the Super Bowl and related events despite concerns about the rise of white supremacist extremism. The FBI has made several arrests in the Tampa area of people who allegedly took part in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. But Tampa FBI chief Michael McPherson said Wednesday no links have been found indicating something similar might occur at Sunday’s NFL championship game. It will be different than any other, coming amid the coronavirus pandemic that will limit attendance. Law enforcement officials are still treating the game as a major security event, with 70 different agencies involved.last_img read more

Group discusses off-campus ties

first_img In keeping with the dialogue about increasing service and improving community relations, Ryan Holly, off-campus president, suggested a “don’t forget South Bend” campaign, which would involve joint efforts between students and alumni in helping the community. “We thought it would be a great way for students to feel part of Eddy Street,” student government president Catherine Soler said. Punchcards will be distributed on campus Friday, and students who visit all the vendors will receive a free shirt or tote bag. “It would be a clearinghouse; sort of an agenda for service opportunities,” Soler said. The Council also discussed a seeming decline in volunteer work undertaken by students, which was highlighted in last year’s improveND survey. “It would be a great thing for the community to see students and alumni together. It could go to benefiting nonprofits in the community,” Holly said. Soler concluded the meeting with reminding Council members of the importance of continuing to encourage students to be mindful of police in the approaching football weekend. “We want to again encourage people to be safe, be aware and make smart decisions,” she said. “Last weekend was great, and we want to continue with that.” The night after the block party, C.L. Lindsay — an attorney who speaks to students about interacting with law enforcement — will be returning to campus to have a dialogue with students. “According to the survey, students did not do as much service as people think, especially the male population” Soler said. “We know there’s football season and other things happening, but it’s something for us to think about.” Soler said Pat McCormick, Social Concerns Committee chair, is working to develop a service.nd.edu site which would give students greater access to available volunteer options. The following Monday, Morrissey Manor will be holding a panel with members from the Office of Residence Life and Housing and the Notre Dame Security Police, tentatively scheduled for 8 p.m. in DeBartolo Hall. In light of an upcoming presentation by Soler to the Alumni Association, alumni relations were also discussed. Members discussed events planned for the weekend of Sept. 17. On Saturday, from 2 to 4 p.m., student government will be co-sponsoring a block party at Eddy Street Commons, meant to encourage students to explore the Commons. “All the vendors are going to have open doors with either discounts or freebies,” Erin Pankiw, director of Special Events, said. “It’s just kind of encouraging students to go and see what’s there. They’ll be able to offer feedback about what they’d like to see at Eddy Street.” The Council of Representatives’ (COR) Tuesday meeting concentrated on upcoming educational events for students about the law, boosting student volunteerism and upcoming community relations events.last_img read more

Curious Incident Will Star Alexander Sharp in His Broadway Debut

first_img Directed by Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time transferred to London’s West End following a sold-out run at the National’s Cottesloe Theatre in 2012. The production received seven 2013 Olivier Awards, including Best New Play. Fifteen-year old Christopher has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever. View Comments Juilliard graduate Alexander Sharp will make his Broadway debut as Christopher in Simon Stephens’ The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. The show will also star Ian Barford (August: Osage County) as Ed, Tony nominee Helen Carey (London Assurance) as Mrs. Alexander, Francesca Faridany (The 39 Steps) as Siobhan and Enid Graham (The Constant Wife) as Judy. Previews begin September 10 at the Barrymore Theatre, with opening night set for October 5. Along with Sharp, Barford, Carey, Faridany and Graham, the cast will include Jocelyn Bioh, Mercedes Herrero, Richard Hollis, Ben Horner and David Manis. Taylor Trensch (Matilda) will play Christopher at certain performances. Related Shows The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 4, 2016last_img read more

August Climate

first_imgRainfall in August reduced the area of extreme drought in northern Georgia. However, abnormally dry conditions and drought expanded in central and south Georgia, especially in coastal areas.August’s heat and variable rainfall had a significant impact on agriculture. Army worms became rampant in many pastures. The moist conditions in wet areas led to fungal diseases, which affected peanuts and vegetable crops. Rain hampered the harvest of corn in some locations, while corn in other locations didn’t set kernels because it was too dry. Peach production continued, although peaches were running smaller than average in size. Some pastures were still not producing hay, forcing livestock producers to sell cattle or purchase hay from out of state, while other areas with rain were seeing a return to better forage conditions and were producing hay again.Heavy rains caused traffic problems in some locations. On Aug. 22, a brief, but strong, storm was blamed for a pileup of almost 30 cars that occurred north of Atlanta in the late afternoon, injuring 13 people.The highest monthly total precipitation from National Weather Service reporting stations was 10.10 inches in Athens, Georgia — 6.57 inches above normal — and the lowest was in Valdosta, Georgia, at 1.92 inches — 3.42 inches below normal.Atlanta received 3.06 inches of rain, 0.84 inches below normal.Columbus, Georgia, received 4.37 inches of rain, 0.60 inches above normal.Macon, Georgia, received 2.03 inches of rain, 2.07 inches below normal.Savannah, Georgia, received 3.53 inches of rain, 3.03 inches below normal.Alma, Georgia, received 6.39 inches of rain, 0.98 inches above normal.Augusta, Georgia, received 3.66 inches of rain, 0.66 inches below normal.Brunswick, Georgia, received 3.80 of rain, 2.47 inches below normal. Albany, Georgia, received 4.68 inches of rain, 0.16 inches below normal.Rome, Georgia, received 6.42 inches of rain, 2.29 inches above normal. One daily rainfall record was set in August. Athens received 4.97 inches of rain on Aug. 4 in just a few hours, smashing the old record of 1.88 inches set in 1948. This was calculated to be close to a 500-year rainfall event, and the storm caused minor flooding and fallen trees. The rain also led to the collapse of roofs on a bowling alley and an auto repair shop. The record-setting rain helped make the month Athens’ second-wettest August on record after 1908, which had 18.43 inches of rain due to a low-pressure center that lingered over northeast Georgia for a week at the end of the month, similar to the weather event that caused flooding rain in Louisiana this month.The highest single-day rainfall recorded by Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) stations was 5.11 inches, measured southwest of Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia, in White County, on Aug. 4, followed by 4.26 inches measured in Winterville, Georgia, in Clarke County, on Aug. 5 in the same downpour that brought the record rainfall to the Athens airport a few miles away. Another station on the southeast side of Athens reported 4.14 inches on Aug. 18. The highest monthly rainfall of 12.33 inches was measured northeast of Dillard, Georgia, in mountainous Rabun County, followed by 11.02 inches measured at Flowery Branch, Georgia, in Hall County.Severe weather was observed on 12 days during the month. All of the reports involve scattered wind damage.Above-normal temperatures continued in Georgia for a third month. Brunswick set a new daily high minimum temperature of 81 degrees Fahrenheit on Aug. 26, replacing the old value of 80 F set in 2011. Several other maximum and high minimum temperatures were tied at weather stations around the state this month. Atlanta and Athens both experienced their fifth-warmest August on record, according to combined city/airport records.While very few daily temperature records were set in August, record runs of days at or above 90 F for maximum temperatures and 70 F for minimum temperatures occurred at a number of stations. Rainfall was highly variable in August, leading to reduction of drought in northern Georgia, but expansion into central and southern Georgia. It was not the warmest August for any station in Georgia, but it was in the top five for Atlanta, Athens and Augusta. Macon had its 10th-warmest August.The outlook for September shows a continuation of above-normal temperatures through the month. Rainfall in northwest Georgia was expected to be below normal, but Hurricane Hermine was expected to bring widespread relief to the dry conditions in southeastern Georgia early in September. The outlook for July through September shows that above-normal temperatures are likely to continue, and below-normal precipitation is likely to occur across the state. For more information, please visit the Climate and Agriculture in the South East blog at blog.extension.uga.edu/climate/ or visit the webpage at gaclimate.org. Please email your weather and climate impacts on agriculture to share on the blog to pknox@uga.edu.center_img Atlanta’s monthly average temperature was 82.7 F, 3.3 degrees above normal. Athens’ monthly average temperature was 82 F, 2.4 degrees above normal. Columbus’ monthly average temperature was 83.1 F, 1.2 degrees above normal.Macon’s monthly average temperature was 83.1 F, 2.2 degrees above normal.Savannah’s monthly average temperature was 84.3 F, 2.8 degrees above normal. Brunswick’s monthly average temperature was 83.8 F, 2.0 degrees above normal.Alma’s monthly average temperature was 82.4 F, 1.1 degrees above normal. Augusta’s monthly average temperature was 83.1 F, 2.6 degrees above normal.Albany’s monthly average temperature was 84.2 F, 2.2 degrees above normal. Rome’s monthly average temperature was 82.0 F, 3.3 degrees above normal.Valdosta’s monthly average temperature was 82.9 F, 1.8 degrees above normal.last_img read more

Fletcher Allen will now show the worth of the Renaissance Project

first_imgThe University of Vermont Medical Center,by Ed Barna As Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington prepares to open the signature architectural piece of its new Renaissance Project by the end of this month, one thing remains clear: Despite all of the controversy and financial malfeasance, a profound upgrade for the state’s largest hospital was necessary.Former Fletcher Allen CEO William Boettcher, hired in April of 1998, declared only three months later that the medical complex was “in a period of renewal.” Described by some as “no-nonsense” in his management style, and by others as a “mean” person who ruled by intimidation, he was so determined to bring the facility to a higher and possibly world-class level that he precipitated one of the state’s largest financial scandals which is still under federal investigation, and whose aftershocks continue in such things as the need to negotiate with now-unionized nurses, troubles in finding charitable donations, and the current request for a double-digit budget increase next year.But throughout the regulatory furor over price underestimates, cost overruns and hidden bookkeeping, and the legal proceedings that resulted in a two-year prison sentence for Boettcher and guilty pleas for two other high-level executives, there has been a strong undercurrent of insistence that there was a real need for a major renovation-addition project. Medical practitioners have pointed to unacceptable conditions and departmental overloads, patients have shared horror stories with the media, and Edwin Colodny, the former UVM president brought in as interim CEO to clean up after the project’s botched beginning, has been vocal about the underlying, fundamental rationale for it.”As was widely acknowledged when our original CON was approved, the need for the project is real and valid,” Colodny said in February of 2003. “The health care goals of the project are sound.” Vermont College of Medicine Dean Dr Joseph Warshaw weighed in as a supporter, arguing that it was already difficult to attract doctors to the state’s only teaching hospital, and that solving that problem would not be possible as long as he kept getting letters and emails from practitioners about problems like a serious shortage of operating rooms. Colodny went as far as saying the lack of state-of-the-art medical care could be factor in IBM deciding to leave Chittenden County.’The impact of being less than the best we can be in the state of Vermont would be an economic disaster for the state,’ he said.It is now almost four and a half years since the Renaissance Project broke ground, and the institution that formed in 1995 from the amalgamation of Fanny Allen Hospital, the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont, the University Health Center and the University of Vermont has been transformed. A more efficient and effective power plant and an expanded birthing center with more options for families were completed last May, new pre-operative and post-operative facilities were ready in February, the upgraded laboratory came on line in March, and the new emergency department was ready in July.Much of the heavy lifting to prove the worth of the project will fall onto the shoulders of CEO Melinda Estes. Estes is a medical doctor with a proven record of hospital administration. Like Colodny, she’s direct and confident, but she’s also a doctor and the MD after her name gives her immediate “street-cred” in an industry with a culture of egos.When the Ambulatory Care Center opens this month, it will reflect a major shift in medical care toward outpatient services, but perhaps most noticeably to the public, a 1,200-space underground garage with quick elevator connections to medical specialty clinics, will help alleviate a chronic parking shortage. Not a complete list, but it’s indicative of the degree of change.After an open house for employees on September 10, a formal dedication on September 15 (congressional delegation, governor, mayor all expected), and a public open house on September 17, the new “front door” is scheduled (as of mid-August) to open on September 26. The glassed facade of the three-story Ambulatory Care Center, looking toward the College of Medicine and College of Nursing and Health Sciences to the west, may recall how the project ballooned in cost from a proposed $173.4 million to an estimated $367.3 million; to others it may symbolize a new and forward-looking era.To put it another way, a tipping point may be at hand. Though no one is suggesting that the end justifies the means the judicial system has said the way the project was put across amounted to a criminal conspiracy, and it has been punished as such henceforth the strengths of the new facility will have a chance to prove their worth. These may quickly come to predominate in the minds of those who encounter the medical center without memories of its past.Most obviously, keeping the facility current may help attract or keep patients who might otherwise seek care in Lebanon, NH, or in Albany, NY. (This in turn has created pressure on other Vermont hospitals, adding to the rationale for construction projects in Rutland, Middlebury, and Berlin.) In ways ranging from shorter wait times to improved cross-specialty consultation to greater patient privacy to better access to educational medical information for family members, care is expected to improve.The facility’s economic health matters because it is the state’s second-largest employer (about 6,000 employees, roughly 4,600 full time equivalents), provides work for about 1,100 Vermont-based contractor and vendors, purchases about $90 million worth of Vermont goods and services each year, and puts nearly $11 million in the state’s coffers through employee withholding taxes alone. Economic and Policy Resources, Inc of Williston said in 2003 that each job at Fletcher Allen, combined with the capital investment there, produced another job elsewhere in the state, and the combined personal income of these direct and indirect jobs amounted to $847.4 million.Beyond that, the Renaissance Project may have broad implications for economic development, in ways that are not so easily measured as admission rates and lengths of stay. The medical schools bring a surprising amount of research money into the state: over $86 million in 2004, counting both Fletcher Allen clinical research and College of Medicine grants. The findings of that research in some cases could become in some cases have become the basis for commercial activity.Executive decisions on whether a company should expand, relocate, or stay in Vermont may hinge on the state’s quality of life, given that transportation and energy costs are unlikely to seem advantageous, and that can include the quality of medical care. To the extent that a top-notch medical center appeals to first-rate medical students, that the state as a whole may benefit because with predictable regularity some of them decide one of their long-term goals will be to return. At that point in their careers, like salmon that go to the sea to mature then return, they may bring new strengths to their communities, as well as financial assets.For better or worse, the Renaissance Project has aligned itself near the most generous end of the spectrum of possible valuations of quality medical care. The question “How much is a human life worth?” gets answered much less often than the question “How much do we have to spend?” which implies an answer to the first question but avoids making any case-by-case calculations.At Fletcher Allen, the money has been spent, and the post-construction phase, beside figuring out how to make the payments, will include a chance to connect the spending with the medical mission. From a purely Hippocratic standpoint, not tallying the project’s benefits might be regarded as tantamount to not believing a human life has any worth, and neglecting that side of what has happened might itself be considered a form of accounting mismanagement.The DifferenceIn looking at how the Renaissance Project has changed Fletcher Allen, a good place to start would be the specialty many patients encounter first: the emergency services department that opened July 13. Its previous incarnation had clearly become outdated, serving about 52,000 patients a year with facilities originally intended for only about 30,000. Not only does the hospital have the only emergency department in Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties, it is the only one in northern Vermont with the equipment and staff to qualify as a Level One Trauma Center. All this was being funneled into two ambulance bays.There are now five bays, the department is twice as large, and instead of 23 beds there are 45, plus 10 dedicated to trauma and major resuscitation efforts. An elevator from the area can whisk serious cases up to an operating room. Coordination is better with the many medical specialties that get called in as necessary: surgery, oral surgery, cardiology, orthopedics, neurology, radiology, pediatrics, oncology, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry. Several of these departments have dedicated emergency area suites set up to facilitate their work.For the sake of faster and more accurate diagnosis, the emergency department has its own radiology area, with two X-ray machines and a Philips 64-slice computed tomography (CT) scanner. The latter is the only one of its kind in New England, and one of only a few in the entire country.Dr Ruth Uphold, director of the department, said the staff had played an active role in designing the new facility. She and the assistant director “were included from the very beginning. We consulted or checked on every issue.”The biggest difference, she said, is that they can now deal with problems in a timely fashion. Before, “we were swamped,” she said.Thinking of what it would be likely if there were a major disaster or a terrorist incident, the staff “absolutely” feels better about how they would respond, Uphold said. “We have actually done a drill called Red Clover,'” she said, to help develop the teams and lines of communication necessary for such an event. She said they and emergency services officials like fire chiefs all see the greatly improved decontamination area as a plus for dealing with hazardous materials or biological threats.There is always a transition period, during which everyone is getting used to old equipment being in new places and so on, Uphold said. “With any change, the first few weeks can be stressful.” But now, “it’s becoming second nature.”Among the positive changes that the staff is learning about, the department now utilizes the Patient Archive Communication System, Uphold said. Medical records can be accessed by computer, family physicians can be brought into the picture, tests don’t have to be unnecessarily duplicated, and comparing old to new tests (X-rays, for instance) can spotlight problems that have developed.”That ability is a nice advance,” Uphold said. And when emergency patients need additional tests, it is far more convenient to arrange them a kind of coordination that will become even better when the physician offices now at the former Medical Center Hospital of Vermont building move to their spaces in the new building.Less dramatically, but of importance to families, the new unit offers more privacy in treatment areas and a larger waiting area with a play space for children. Some emergencies involve law enforcement issues; in such cases, families may be glad to learn that all internal entrances need a pass card and the one external entrance is monitored around the clock by a security officer. When admission to the hospital is necessary, bedside registration facilitates it.What’s true of the emergency services department is true in similar ways for other medical specialties: planning with practitioners involved, space designed around the patient and family experience as well as being physically expanded, better integration of everyone’s expertise and equipment. Looking ahead, the design includes a great deal of flexibility in how rooms are used in some cases different medical specialties will rotate in and out of the same area during the week in recognition of the way medical advances can change hospital practices.If there is one area of the revamped facility that could symbolize the revolution that the Renaissance Project embodies, it’s the one that people will use as the “front door” to the medical center campus: the Ambulatory Care Center. Outpatient care, including surgery that in earlier decades would have required hospital admission, is more and more becoming the norm.”Fletcher Allen is currently providing its outpatient care in a facility designed as an inpatient hospital in 1924,” said one of the medical center’s statements. In 2004, there were 23,288 admissions to the 562 licensed beds; over the same time period, there were 459,586 outpatient visits, as well as 747,848 professional visits (not including radiology and lab work). The 6,737 inpatient surgeries were matched by 13,238 outpatient surgical procedures.Cynics have characterized the trend toward shorter patient stays and reliance on in-and-out one day procedures as discharging people “sicker and quicker.” Others who are aware of the growing danger of hospital infections from antibiotic-resistant drugs take a different view. In any case, at a time when medical dollars are running short, efficiency matters.”The new Ambulatory Care Center will support efficient outpatient care delivery systems that will be more convenient for both patients and health care professionals,” says the medical center’s own summary. “Although Fletcher Allen is already one of the lowest in cost of all 126 academic medical centers nationwide, the new outpatient facility will result in substantial operational savings over time.”Getting The Third DegreeAny judgment about the costs and benefits of the Renaissance Project needs to take into account its likely effects on the medical center’s role as a branch of academia. Fletcher Allen’s own summary goes as follows:”This project takes advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create Vermont’s first truly integrated patient care and academic health sciences campus. As Fletcher Allen breaks ground on the Ambulatory Care Center (patient care) and collaborates with the University of Vermont to build the new Education and Conference Center (education), the construction of UVM’s new Health Science Research Facility (research) is already well under way. Together, these three projects represent a significant investment in the two organization’s joint tripartite mission of patient care, education and research.”Some of the pathological research takes place at the University of Vermont’s laboratories, but some also occurs at the FAHC department of pathology and laboratory medicine. In other words, two kinds of lab work are going on, which sometimes overlap. From the patient’s point of view, it will make a difference that the new lab on the first two floors of the Ambulatory Care Center will consolidate services that had been in five locations on two campuses. The new lab’s design is meant to facilitate staff flexibility, encourage cross-training (assisting the education of interns and residents), and ease the flow of specimens through the area. To help with the latter goal, there is a central receiving area that uses new automated technology to prepare and sort specimens for faster routing to their appropriate destinations.This is a big part of what goes on at the hospital. More than 300 people are employed in the lab department, including 30 board-certified pathologists. One division supervises more than 30 off-site testing locations, not counting the hospitals around the state for whom Fletcher Allen serves as a reference laboratory. Telemedicine has also expanded the reach of this, and several other, departments of the medical center.As for research, few realize that the General Clinical Research Center at Fletcher Allen/UVM is one of only 78 such facilities in the country, and the only one in northern New England. Ongoing projects are working on possible treatments for heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and more.The Vermont Cancer Center at UVM/Fletcher Allen is one of only 39 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the country. “Comprehensive” here reflects a quadruple role: research, prevention, patient care and community education.Increasingly, in the age of the Internet, patients have been researching their own ailments and bringing their findings to physicians. In the last two years, the College of Medicine’s Dana Library has seen the number of public inquiries pass the number made by their own faculty. Before the Renaissance Project, this trend did not have much support: there was a Health Resource Center in the lobby of the medical center’s McClure Building, but it was so small it could serve only two or three people at one time. The new Education and Conference Center, considered an integral part of the Ambulatory Care Center, is seen as a way of joining patient care with the College of Medicine’s research and educational missions.You Can Go Home NowA few pieces of the Renaissance Project have yet to receive their finishing touches, such as the underground parking facility. Beaumont Drive is to be relocated, so that it no longer divides the College of Medicine from Fletcher Allen. Inpatient psychiatry is will be expanded in the Shepardson Building.But the end is almost in sight for a project that could be said to date back to 1989, when the first study was done to identify alternatives for creating a new Ambulatory Care Center. All over, that is, except for the fundraising, which so far has brought in $18.5 million (contact the Office of Development at 847-2887 or email RenaissanceCampaign@vtmednet.org (link sends e-mail)(link sends e-mail)). The institution that in 2004 allocated $16.8 million to charity care, and provided another $3,603,009 through its Community Benefit Programs & Support, needs some help itself, along with more than a little healing.Ed Barna is a freelance writer from Middlebury.last_img read more

McLure Group Receives Top Honors

first_imgBill Brady, President of the McLure Group of Essex Jct., VT, was the recipient of numerous awards for McLure Moving & Storage, given at the Arpin Van Lines 2007 Convention, held in Tucson, AZ.Mclure Moving and Storage has over 90 years of Local, National and International moving history. But in their first full year of service in the Arpin Van Lines Family they were honored as the “Best New Prime Agent”.Bill Brady also received the “Greatest COD Sales Volume award in his class as well as the Arpin International “Domestic Booking Agent of the Year”.Paul Arpin Van Lines, one of the nation’s leading household goods carriers, celebrates 105 years of continued growth and leadership in the transportation and logistics industries. Paul Arpin is a quality driven, privately-owned and operated company having as its core philosophy the importance of “Creating Customers For Life. The official mover of the LPGA, Paul Arpin has over 330 agency locations throughout North America. Paul Arpin Van Lines is a division of Arpin Group, Inc. which also includes Arpin International Group, Arpin Moving Systems (Canada) and Arpin Logistics, Inc.”It’s an honor to be acknowledged a leader amongst your peers. We look forward to building our business and reputation for excellent moving services with Arpin Van Line as our national affiliate, said Bill Brady, “So, as always, Be Sure Call McLure.Mclure Moving and Storage can be reached locally at 878-5344, 1-800-639-5344 or by email: sales@vermontmovers.com(link sends e-mail).last_img read more

Fishermen vs. The King

first_imgThe Jackson River is getting lots of press these days—and not for its outstanding trout fishery. Rather, the waterway is at the center of a lawsuit that could have far-reaching effects for sportsmen across Virginia.Blue Ridge Outdoors: Who owns Virginia's rivers?Controversy surrounding the Jackson River is nothing new: In its landmark 1996 Crown Grant decision, the Virginia Supreme Court sided with property owners who argued that they had exclusive fishing rights, thanks to the title issued by King George III. Anglers may freely float through the Jackson River because it is a navigable waterway, but no one may fish the grant section of the Jackson without consent of the property owners.And therein lies the rub of the latest dust-up. According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), the grant section applies to the river below the Gathright Dam and through Johnson Springs.  As far as the VDGIF is concerned, the rest of the river downstream from Johnson Springs is open to the public.However, a new development along this stretch of the river has posted signs on both sides of the river prohibiting fishing, swimming, or exiting their kayaks or canoes for any reason. The River’s Edge, which owns this property, sells riverside home sites that range from $175,000 to $325,000.As the “no trespassing” signs went up, so did the hackles of sportsmen, who view the signs as an attempt to privatize the river for the benefit of a few wealthy landowners. But the relevant questions remain: Who owns the river? And what exactly does that mean for sportsmen?On the HookIn February, two fishermen and a local pastor were sued for trespassing by Matt Sponagle, owner of  The River’s Edge development. These anglers refused to stop fishing The River’s Edge section of the Jackson River.The defendants argued that since this stretch of river was outside the Crown Grant, and therefore state-owned for the public use, they had every right to fish the water. Now these anglers, should they be found guilty in civil court, may find themselves on the hook for $10,000 apiece.Who Cares About the King?Why does the decree of a dead British king matter today? Didn’t we fight a war of independence from that very king?At the foundation of our own legal system, though, we find English Common Law, among the most sacred tenets of which is the pursuit and protection of private property. Our Founding Fathers were both zealous advocates of private property and prosecutors of the Revolutionary War. And in their minds, apparently, newly won American independence did not negate the fact that certain tracts of land had indeed been lawfully conveyed to private individuals by the Crown of England.Whose River Is It?The outcome of the current Jackson River case could have implications for sportsmen across the Old Dominion, and for anglers in particular. Taking their cue from The River’s Edge, more landowners are posting signs along their property lines that face the river. Naturally these landowners may post whatever they like on their own land, but that does not necessarily mean that officers of the law will enforce the posting as long as anglers stay in the river. Both the VDGIF and the Alleghany County Commonwealth’s Attorney have refused to prosecute any anglers fishing outside of the Crown Grant section, but they also have no authority to remove the confusing signs. 1 2last_img read more

WNC Brewery Tour Stay-cation

first_img Lots of options Atmosphere BRO and Brews Brewery Jon & Jenny Lowrance live at the foot of Mount Pisgah where they home brew, walk the dogs and take it all in.For more great brew info, check out our Southern Appalachian Beer Guide. Brewery Happy Bartending Eighteen local breweries in eight days.  One-hundred and nine distinct craft beers.  That’s my kind of stay-cation!  Technically, we sampled beers from all 19 Western North Carolina breweries but because of the casual, no-defined-plan approach my wife, Jenny, and I took to this year’s vacation, we overlooked the fact that Highland Brewing Company was closed the last day of our tour due to a private party.  We still drank their beer, though, on draft at Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria – coincidentally, the place where Highland started.  After reading the recently-released book Asheville Beer by Anne-Fitten Glenn we came up with the idea of going to every brewery and tasting every beer crafted in Western North Carolina.We’ve lived here for a little over five years and had been to most of the breweries already.  We had our favorite breweries and we had our favorite beers.  But we hadn’t had them all and we had never evaluated each beer and each brewery with the best discernment that two non-foodies could muster.  But we tried our best!As Ms Glenn points out in her book, 2012 has been a huge year for beer in Western North Carolina (WNC).  Four micro-breweries opened (the three in Waynesville and one in Weaverville – each described below) and three big breweries decided to open second locations in WNC – Sierra Nevada, New Belgium and Oskar Blues.  2012 was a big beer year for Jenny, my wife, and me, too – we started home brewing with help from local beer shop Hops & Vines.  This fall we even tried to emulate our favorite seasonal, Cold Mountain by Highland, by throwing random amounts of vanilla bean, hazelnut, cinnamon and cranberries into 5-gallon a winter ale kit to see what happens.  In a few more weeks, after the brew has properly bottle-conditioned, we’ll see what happened.  I did mention we’re not foodies, right – or expert brewers?  And that’s partly why I wanted to write a quick glimpse of our tour for Blue Ridge Outdoors – we’re like you.  We’re average Western North Carolinians who love local beer and tried to save a few bucks by pulling off an inexpensive but interesting stay-cation.  We hope you enjoy the article, but we hope more that you get out there and try the beer for yourself!Some Lessons:1.  Beer in Western North Carolina is really good!  We knew this.  I held WNC beer in high regard before our tour but after reading Asheville Beer and trying every beer from every brewery, I feel even more strongly that what we have in WNC when it comes to breweries and beer is really special.2.  When you drop your preconceptions, you’re rewarded with amazing new experiences.  I thought I knew what kind of beers I liked.  I still like what I thought I liked, but now I know, and am not ashamed to admit, I really like light beer!  When I first started drinking craft beer, I fancied myself as a robust stout and porter kind of guy… then I was a really a smooth porter & amber/brown ale dude.  Then just a solid, smooth, flavorful amber/brown man.  But now, after a tasty exploration of over 100 local beers, I can thoroughly appreciate the lighter side of beer.  There’s some really good, really flavorful and enjoyable light beers out there!  So open your mind before you go tasting and you might find some new favorite brews!3.  Not all WNC breweries and beers are created (or crafted) equally.  And not all are perceived equally.  Jenny liked a lot of beers I’d never get a pint of; I savored many she thought were just OK.  I’m pumped that we have so many breweries but they’re not all of the same quality and their beers are not amazing just cause they’re made locally.  Some had plastic sampler cups, sour beers and no tasting guides; others had nice flight platters with generous six-ounce glass samplers with detailed beer descriptions and tasting guides.  Some had cramped tasting rooms with blaring music and others were aesthetic beauties to behold encapsulated in thriving restaurants.You’ll have to experience the breweries and beers for yourself to hone your personal preferences.  We’ve provided a short glimpse of the best of each brewery below but our opinions are just opinions.  And there are at least as many opinions about beers as there are beers and beer drinkers.  So have fun, explore, take it all in and hopefully you’ll discover your favorite brews and breweries!4.  The beer scene is alive and constantly changing.  One brewery (Craggie, in Asheville) closed during our tour and one opened (Blue Mountain Pizza in Weaverville).  A couple breweries put out new seasonals after we had already visited them making our goal of trying every beer brewed by every brewery in one week even more elusive.  Big brewers are headed to WNC and more microbreweries (Altamont, Wicked Weed, and others) are planning on opening or starting to brew beer.  So there’s always something new to discover in the Western North Carolina beer scene.Brewery Reviews – the short & sweet of all 19 WNC breweries.AshevilleAsheville is a great beer town!  After traveling all over Western North Carolina, we’ve realized that Asheville really has amazing, well-established breweries.  Again, we knew this… but wow!  The maturity level of Asheville’s breweries is what struck us – there’s so many well-established breweries.  Unfortunately, Craggie Brewing Company closed the day we started our tour so we did not visit or review their brewery.  However, the same day Blue Mountain Pizza in Weaverville started pouring their very own brews… look for their review below!Highland Brewing Company  highlandbrewing.comBeers on Tap7-plus of the region’s most mature brews.  Highland is like the granddad of WNC breweries… they know what they’re doing and do it well.  The winter seasonal Cold Mountain ranks as my all-time favorite beer.  I will not tell you how many cases I bought this year but 2013 is looking good for my Cold Mountain consumption.AtmosphereEven though we didn’t make it this week, we frequent Highland and appreciate their large, open brewery.  Highland has one of the larger taprooms and frequently holds community events and film releases.Asheville Brewing Company  ashevillebrewing.comBeers on TapNine beers representing a solid range across the craft brew spectrum.  Their seasonal Big Thankful Porter, made with sweet potatoes and pecans was a delicious interpretation of a fall seasonal with a smooth porter body and a complex depth.AtmosphereWith two separate brewing locations, ABC has plenty of room for you to enjoy their beer.  ABC was one place I realized I took for granted.  They’re amazing!  Great food and two distinct locations (the Coxe Avenue location with tons of outdoor seating, the Merrimon Avenue location with tons of dine-in movie theater seating).Green Man Brewing Company  greenmanbrewing.comBeers on TapSix beers; 3 of them were black (2 porters and a stout).  The ESB is my favorite, brewed-year-round beer with well balanced malty, honey, toasty mouthfeel and mild hop finish.  Green Man was the only brewery at the time of our tour which had a cask brew (porter) available.AtmosphereA true neighborhood, English-style pub.  Green Man is the best soccer pub in the region with a gritty but friendly feel to it.  A big bar with amble stools & a couple wine-barrel tall tables round out the indoor space adjacent to their brewing area.  A bonus for visitors is that Buxton Avenue holds the French Broad Chocolate Factory and Tasting Room next door to Green Man and Asheville Hardware across the street – a woodworkers candy factory.  For these reasons it’s my favorite street in town and has sucked a lot of my money out of my pocket.French Broad Brewing Company  frenchbroadbrewery.comBeers on TapFive beers covering the range of craft beers with by far the strongest IPA in the region – a hop explosion.  Their Kolsh was sunshine bright; a refreshingly drinkable, wheaty, earthy light beer that helped me realize light beers are worth drinking.AtmosphereA tiny, dusty tasting room that frequently hosts live music.  A nice outdoor space is currently under construction.  Be sure to note the fish-scale brew tanks on a visit – they’re unique among WNC breweries.Wedge Brewing Company  wedgebrewing.comBeers on TapFive beers with a strong showing of two IPAs.  One of Jenny’s favorite beers of the region is the Iron Rail IPA – a hop forward IPA with citrus & sugary apricot tasting notes.AtmosphereWedge has just about the best outdoor space of any WNC brewery.  Tons of parking, cornhole boards, food trucks and ironwork decor, this river-side brewery in Asheville’s River Arts District is a casual setting that’s local (and Jenny) favorite.Oyster House (located in the Lobster Trap Restaurant)  oysterhousebeers.comBeers on TapCurrently three beers represent Oyster House’s offerings with more on the way when their new West Asheville location is open.  We enjoyed a full pound of Lobster Trap’s shrimp with our Moonstone Stout (made with oysters).  If you like stouts, you’ll like this beer… the oysters are not overpowering at all and lend a sweet tartness to the brew.AtmosphereBrewmaster and owner Billy Klingel was on hand to provide personal service from behind a copper-topped bar set in a fantastic local restaurant.  He’s anxiously awaiting the arrival his new brew tanks to get his West Asheville location up and running.Thirsty Monk Pub & Brewery (South Asheville) monkpub.comBeers on TapThirsty Monk nano brewery located on Hendersonville Road in South Asheville filled four of their twenty taps with their own beer.  They had two of the most interesting non-traditional beers around.  Their Pumpkin Belgian Ale was very mellow & balanced with a soft pumpkin hue in the background, sweetened with vanilla bean.  Thirsty Monk was the only brewery to offer a home brewer’s recipe with Jacob Childrey’s Maple Pecan Belgian Brown (winner of Just Economics “Just Brew It” competition) getting the nod.  Organic pecans soaked in maple syrup helped give this ale subtle sweetness under a complex dark brown flavor.AtmosphereMonk South is a great neighborhood bar and nano brewery.  They were the only brewery to offer an actual tasting guide… many breweries had thorough beer descriptions & menus but the Monk cared enough to provide coaching on how to taste beer.  While we were there we picked up on the rumor that Monk South is moving their location to Biltmore Park.  While in a way, the new spot will be just down the street, the Hendersonville Road location will surely be missed and hold plenty of great memories in the minds of those who frequent it.Lexington Avenue Brewery  lexavebrew.comBeers on TapSix beers on tap with six glass samplers on a nice wood flight platter… LAB seems to care about the details throughout their restaurant/brewery operation not the least of which are the beers themselves.  LAB was one of only two breweries to offer a nitro stout (the other was Pisgah).  The nitro pour smoothed the stout out allowing one to search for the subtle, mild coffee and chocolate notes hidden in the beer.  Their Brown Ale provided a robust, flavorful, balanced malt experience that paired perfectly with their Truffled Pomme Frites.AtmosphereThe LAB was one of those places that, when I stopped to really consider the quality of the brewery, the beers and restaurant, took me by surprise.  I’ve been to the LAB a lot over the last couple of years but I think in all that time I’ve missed it’s true quality.  Simply put, it’s got great food, a nice range of really good beers and an exceptional atmosphere set square in downtown Asheville.  It truly is a prize!WaynesvilleHeadwaters Brewing Company  facebook.com/headwatersbrewingBeers on TapSeven beers all holding water-related names like “Heady Eddy Pale Ale” and “Rip Current Red.”  The Skipping Stone Stout was one of my favorite stouts of the region – smooth and light mouthfeel with subtle bitterness and a mellow malty flavor.AtmosphereAsheville – it’s right of the highway.  Go, taste and see that Waynesville has beer.  This brewery is located at the back of a long row of buildings in what some locals called a “storage shed.”  Don’t let the description fool you – the innards of Headwaters are welcoming with a large bar, flatscreen TVs and several games including darts, foosball, checkers and a 10-foot basketball goal with it’s own netting so the ball doesn’t bounce around and spill all that delicious beer.Tipping Point Tavern  tippingpointtavern.comBeers on TapAn IPA, Brown, Amber & Blonde give something for everyone to enjoy.  The Blonde was my personal favorite and another one of those light beers that surprised and confirmed (by that point in the week) that I like light beers.  It seemed like sweet white wine in the mouth but was all beer in the hoppy finish.AtmosphereWe timed our visit to take in the Waynesville Holiday Parade on Main Street – which Tipping Point provided front row seats to from within their large front windows.  Tipping Point is a great tavern/restaurant space with good food and a selection of regional beer alongside their own.Frog Level Brewing Company froglevelbrewing.comBeers on TapFive beers kicked off our regional brewery tour as Frog Level held the distinction of the first brewery we visited.  The Bug Eyed Stout was rich & decadent with subtle coffee in the background.  The beer is made with coffee roasted at the next-door Panacea Coffee Company.AtmosphereFrog Level Brewing currently boasts the only legal outdoor drinking space in Haywood County with a beautiful back deck over looking Richland Creek in downtown Waynesville.  The long, industrial brick building provides ample space for the brewery to continue to grow.The Rest of the RegionNantahala Brewing Company, Bryson City, NC nantahalabrewing.comBeers on TapThe whopping eleven beers on tap at Nantahala are worth the trip to Bryson City!  They have everything – IPA, Blonde, Pale, Amber, Brown, Belgium, Hefeweizen, Porter and several high gravity beers.  The Dirty Girl Blonde was the first light beer of our trip to blow my mind.  Maybe it’s cause I’m from just south of St. Louis where “Budweizer” is what you get when you ask for a local beer, but this light, clean, mild, easy drinking beer reminded me of home.  The Bryson City Brown was another favorite and one of the region’s best browns – mellow, nutty, smooth with a mild hop aftertaste.AtmosphereNantahala shares space with PaddleFish Kayaking company in downtown Bryson City.  A small taproom opens to a large, shared game room with tables & chairs that spills out onto an open air front deck overlooking the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad depot.  We enjoyed all eleven beers while watching little kids in pajamas board the “Polar Express.”  Santa even drove by in a Chevy pickup… no lying.  Nantalaha Brewing Company is a true gem of WNC breweries.Brevard Brewing Company, Brevard, NC  brevard-brewing.comBeers on TapFive beers – four permanent taps and a rotating seasonal comprise Brevard Brewing Company’s own taps.  They nod to next-door (same town) big boy Oskar Blues with Dale’s Pale Ale on tap and a few other locals are also represented.  Brevard’s Munich Dunkel was amazing – to quote their tasting guide “if a porter and an Oktoberfest had a baby, this would be it.”  And their Smoked Porter Seasonal was one of the most interesting seasonals in the region – smoky smooth flavor coming from the malt that’s kilned with beechwood, this velvety beer would be perfect with a peppercorn-rubbed New York strip.AtmosphereThe relaxed bar-only taproom in downtown Brevard provides a welcome respite for folks who like to play hard in Pisgah National Forest or who’ve shopped or worked hard in downtown Brevard.  We were greeted by the resident brewery dog, Hops, and a visiting dog, Barley, while sampling Brevard Brewing Company’s hearty ales.Southern Appalachian Brewing, Hendersonville, NC  sabrewery.comBeers on TapSouthern Appalachian has five home-made brews and again I was captivated by a Belgian Blonde.  Sweet honey, citrus zest with just enough bitterness to remind you its beer and not white wine.AtmosphereThe bar is set up with ample stools and tables and chairs all in front of their large brew tanks and boasts a huge outdoor space with lots of yard games and outdoor seating.  We enjoyed live music in what was probably the most dog friendly of all the breweries we visited – staff jumped to get our pups a bowl of water and offer hearty treats from a large glass jar that sat square on top of the bar.  (Note:  Just about every brewery was dog friendly in WNC.  Only Tipping Point and Oyster House could not accommodate dogs due to the lack of outdoor seating at their restaurants.)Heinzelmannchen Brewery, Sylva, NC  yourgnometownbrewery.comBeers on TapSeven German-style beers was a surprising number from a brewery that’s packed into such as small space.  Middleworld Brown & Blackforest Stout were my favorites but the Hoppy Gnome made it into our beautiful Heinzelmannchen 2-liter growler for the trip home.  (Best growler in the region is a unique distinction.)  Jenny favored this mild-hopped brew that I thought had some buttery bread and mild malt notes to it.AtmosphereCo-owner Sheryl Rudd was on hand to provide beer for the humans and water for the dogs.  Sheryl and husband Dieter Kuhn have been making great craft beer out of their location in downtown Sylva since 2004.  The quaint tasting room has enough space to kick back and try a flight of some exceptional brews.Catawba Valley Brewing Company, Morganton, NC  catawbavalleybrewingcompany.comBeers on TapTwelve beers put Catawba on top for the most beers served by any brewery in WNC.  And they’re amazing.  Catawba has incredible range and hefty line up of high gravities.  From the Loretta, brewed with cantalope & cayenne to the super-light Farmer Ted’s Farmhouse Cream Ale to the complex, robust Brown Bear Ale with its mellow malt & toasty notes, Catawba really does have a beer for anyone’s tastes.AtmosphereMorganton has an exceptional brewery tucked away in a nondescript building in the middle of their downtown historic district.  Do they know this?  Surely they do… more aptly put; does the rest of the region know this?  Catawba is amazing!  They’ve got a huge tasting room with tons of seating, a large, permanent stage and highly visible brewing and canning operation.  And did I mention 12 beers?  The nice folks of Morganton will be happy to know that their’s was the friendliest brewery we visited.  It seemed like just about everybody in the place came up and introduced themselves to us. They had a little help from some local friends that met us at Catawba who, I think, knew everyone, but still… Morganton has some friendly people!  The nice folks of Asheville will be happy to know that co-owner Scott Pyatt is planning on opening a second Catawba location in Asheville in the near future… I’m looking forward to more of their beer and their hospitality!Pisgah Brewing, Black Mountain, NC  pisgahbrewing.comBeers on TapTen of their own beers included some of the classics – IPA, Porter, Pale – and a lot of quirky yet quality brews.  Pisgah offered one of the region’s two Nitro Stouts (the other was at Lexington Avenue Brewery), a Blueberry Wheat, Dopplebach, Belgian Reserve, Coffee Porter and a Bacon Stout.  I’ve never been a big fan of flat out fruit-flavored beers but the Blueberry Wheat was really nice – sweet blueberry throughout supported by a balanced, light crisp beer.  The Belgian Reserve, with its sweet maple honey notes, light and refreshingly crisp, was my personal favorite.AtmosphereI’m trying to figure out why I don’t go to Pisgah more often.  It’s right down the road from Asheville and provides an understated bar with a wide range of beer offerings and even Heinzelmannchen’s alcohol-free root beer on tap.  They’ve got a big stage, outdoor area and nearby field to let the dogs run in.  To my knowledge, they’re the only brewery with an outdoor fire pit – a nice touch for all the cool nights in mountains.Blue Mountain Pizza, Weaverville, NC  bluemountainpizza.comBeers on TapJenny and I were happy to visit Blue Mountain during their first week of pouring their own beer and tried them both: Belgian Golden Ale and Cascadian Dark Ale.  I chose a pint of the clear, pale yellow, crisp Belgian to go with our meal.  A nice light beer capped off our week of brewery tours as Blue Mountain was the last of 18 breweries we visited.AtmosphereNestled on the quaint North Main Street in downtown Weaverville, Blue Mountain Pizza blew our minds with the quality of their food and their welcoming, small-town atmosphere.  Rocket Science provided some high-quality live music and the pizza was some of the best I’ve had in Western North Carolina.  Be sure to stop by and support WNC’s newest brewery. Live Music Enjoying a brew Blue RIdge Outdoors and Brew WNC Brewery Tour Asheville Brewinglast_img read more