Vermont predicts excellent foliage season

first_imgVermont tourism officials are expecting a busy foliage season this year and encourage visitors to take advantage of midweek deals being offered through the fall. Dozens of inns, hotels, historic sites and museums are offering a variety of midweek specials during the fall foliage season as part of the statewide Midweek Peek promotion organized by the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing. Deals range from discounted lodging to reduced admission prices to free Vermont products. For details, visit www.VermontVacation.com/midweek(link is external). Foliage season is an incredibly popular time to come to Vermont, but visitors can still find a diverse range of options for lodging, dining and activities, especially midweek, says Vermont Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Bruce Hyde. Fall in Vermont is spectacular any day of the week, and we hope people will take advantage of the special Midweek Peek deals around the state.During fall foliage, Vermont s magnificent countryside shimmers in red, orange, green and gold, drawing millions of visitors here from all corners of the globe. Vermont forestry experts agree with the prediction that a beautiful foliage season is on the way. The trees throughout Vermont received an abundance of moisture this summer, which is one of the key ingredients to a bright foliage season, says Ginger Anderson, Chief of Forest Management for the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.  Vermont is currently experiencing a drying trend and will begin to transition into typical fall weather with warm days and cool nights. As that happens, we expect Vermont’s foliage to display magnificent autumn color.The Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing offers a number of resources on its website at www.VermontVacation.com(link is external) for foliage season visitors. The site includes tips on planning ahead, a Lodging Availability Forecaster, and the Foliage Forecaster, which shows the progression of the colors across Vermont during a typical foliage season. Also included are seasonal stories and 20 different suggested driving tours. Visitors can also access the Vermont Travel Planner, an extensive database of lodging, dining, events, attractions and recreational opportunities. Weekly foliage reports will begin on Sept. 15 and will be available on www.VermontVacation.com(link is external) and also the state s toll-free visitor information line 1-800 VERMONT. Reports will be updated on Tuesdays and Thursdays through the end of October.Visitors make 14.3 million trips to Vermont each year and visitor spending adds an estimated $1.57 billion to the state s economy, according to VDTM research. The research shows that 23 percent of those visits, or 3.7 million, are during the fall season. Vermont is also the nation s leading producer of maple syrup and attributes much of its fall foliage beauty to the high concentration of sugar maples, the official state tree.Source: Vermont Department of Tourismlast_img read more

DND seeks exemption from order to shun foreign aid

first_imgDefense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. ABS-CBN NEWS MANILA – The Department of National Defense (DND) hopes to be exempted from President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive rejecting grants and loans from those countries backing a UN resolution, led by Iceland, seeking a comprehensive report on the Philippines’ drug war. Lorenzana, however, was not able to immediately identify which of the 18 countries, who backed the probe against Duterte’s war on drugs, have pending grants or loans for the AFP mode. “At the outset, we assure the nation and its citizenry that this directive will not have a negative and significant impact on the country,” Panelo said. “The policy would not affect existing loans or grants which are already being implemented.” The UNHRC adopted the Iceland resolution last July for an international investigation into the spate of killings and human rights violations in the country due to President Duterte’s “war on drugs.” On Monday, Malacañang confirmed the existence of the document containing the presidential directive to shun aid from countries backing the probe. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he might ask Duterte to exclude them from the rejection of the loans as it could possibly affect the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) modernization program.center_img “All proposed engagements with the said countries, except for France, are technical assistance grants, thus it would “not significantly affect the infrastructure program of the government,” he added. Eighteen countries have voted for the approval of the resolution during the 41st session of UNHRC in Geneva while the other 14 opposed it and the remaining 15 countries abstained. A memorandum on signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Aug. 27 ordered “all agencies, state companies and government financial institutions should suspend negotiations or agreements pending the assessment of our relations with these countries.” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo, however, said this directive will not affect the country’s economy. “Maaapektuhan ‘yan. ‘Yung loans siguro magkakaroon ng konting kwan kami diyan. We might ask for exemption,” Lorenzana said. The countries who voted to adopt the resolution were Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, Iceland, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine, the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland, and Uruguay./PNlast_img read more

Clippers’ Blake Griffin returns with mixed reviews

first_imgPHILADELPHIA >> It wasn’t a bombshell announcement that Blake Griffin was going to be in the starting lineup Tuesday against the 76ers. For weeks, the game seemed like a logical return date for the Clippers’ star forward who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Dec. 20.Privately, Griffin had been playing and going through grueling workouts, testing his right knee.Against the 76ers, he finally got the chance to show that everything works.Griffin slammed home a tip-in dunk and looked like he was moving fine in the Clippers’ 121-110 loss to Philadelphia, a positive sign after his lateral movement and attacking were limited by knee pain and stiffness in December prior to the surgery. “I probably would’ve liked to attack more, especially late in the shot clock. A couple times I settled for jumpers. But, I felt fine,” Griffin said. “Timing and rhythm for sure was the biggest thing.”Griffin struggled from the field (3-for-10) and the line (6-for-10), and he was sloppy with the basketball, turning it over six times.Still, there were no physical setbacks, and Griffin was able to play almost 30 minutes.“I honestly have had workouts that are twice as hard as this,” he said after the game. “As far as body-wise, pounding on my buddy, I’m lifting, then doing basketball, then doing treadmill and court conditioning all in a day, it’s more than just this. I don’t expect to feel anything.”The dunk was a reminder to people that haven’t seen Griffin in over a month that he can still make a big play, but it wasn’t a mental hurdle or anything for him. “I’ve had some explosive moments, whatever you want to call them, in workouts, playing 1-on-1, playing 3-on-3. That was put to rest for me,” he said. “It’s good to be able to feel that in a game and get back to that, but I feel like that was already out of my mind.”Sick as a DocDoc Rivers walked into the Wels Fargo Center Tuesday night, briefly stopping to talk with security and building personnel before disappearing into the coaches’ locker room.And in a trick that would make any magician impressed, when it came time to speak to the media, out popped Mike Woodson.Rivers was an unhealthy scratch Tuesday, with the illness he’s been battling for weeks getting the better of him.Woodson, one of the team’s assistant coaches, received the worst kind of promotion against Philadelphia — one that comes with more responsibility and without a raise.“I won’t get his check,” Woodson joked.Rivers missed a practice earlier this month with an illness. According to the Clippers, the last time Rivers missed a game was on Nov. 4, 2007 after the death of his father.Rivers went back to the team hotel during the game.Woodson has served as the Clippers head coach three times prior this season following three ejections for Rivers.“It was definitely strange,” DeAndre Jordan said. “We’ve played without Doc a couple of games when he got kicked out. But for a whole game, that was…I missed his raspy voice. But, Woody did a good job tonight, so it was cool.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more