FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享E&E News:The shape of Puerto Rico’s future grid is confused, because no one yet has the authority to dictate what the future grid will look like.PREPA, the island utility, is conducting repairs, but it has few resources and is distrusted by officials in Washington. After Hurricane Maria hit, PREPA forsook aid from other American power companies and hired Whitefish Energy Holdings LLC, a tiny contractor, to rebuild major parts of its transmission system for $300 million. Controversy around that contract caused its cancellation two weeks ago.Ramos, PREPA’s CEO, was a no-show at a U.S. House Natural Resources Committee hearing meant to scrutinize the Whitefish contract and recovery efforts.Another option to steer Puerto Rico’s future grid is the island’s financial oversight board, FOMB, which was established last year by the Obama administration to control the purse strings of the Puerto Rican territorial government as it restructures $72 billion in debts.FOMB has proposed making one of its key officials, Noel Zamot, into a “transformation officer” who would sit atop PREPA to guide its investments. At the House hearing, Zamot said his vision for Puerto Rico was “50 percent renewables by 2040, with the balance a natural/LP gas mix; regional grids with generation close to demand; physical hardening and control schemes to provide resiliency; and widespread distributed generation, all wrapped by an empowered, accountable energy regulator.”He said that he will have a draft of “a wholesale reimagining of the grid” by mid-December.If successful, Zamot’s appointment suggests that mainland utilities and various federal agencies would have influential roles in reshaping the territory’s grid. Zamot said he has already been meeting with FEMA and the Department of Energy and that he is hearing from the Edison Electric Institute, an association of investor-owned power companies, and the American Public Power Association, which represents municipal utilities.DOE is researching opportunities to install microgrids in PREPA’s network to make facilities more storm-resilient, according to Carl Imhoff, the director of electric infrastructure markets at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which is one of DOE’s national labs, in testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.DOE is also working out where vulnerable substations should be relocated to deal with flooding risk, and potential locations for backup batteries to maintain water service in blackouts.Funding from FEMA could cover three-quarters of the costs of storm-hardening changes in the island’s grid that get federal approval.Judge Laura Taylor Swain, a federal judge in New York who is overseeing Puerto Rico’s receivership, will hold a hearing today on Zamot’s role.Still, other options for reimagining the grid could come through the Puerto Rico Energy Commission, which was established three years ago as the first body to ever oversee PREPA. Earlier this year, it prompted PREPA to submit its first-ever integrated resource plan, which describes where a utility intends to obtain its power and how it intends to pay for it. PREPA suggested replacing its ancient oil-powered generators with natural gas turbines and supplying these new power plants from a floating gas terminal off the island’s south coast. The energy commission agreed with the idea in principle but rejected PREPA’s plan for lacking crucial details.The commission, in a legal brief to Swain, said it would cooperate with FOMB but defended its role as the last word on Puerto Rico’s grid.Meanwhile, other entities are seeking to influence the outcome.The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a think tank based in Cleveland, wants Puerto Rico to seek private investment in distributed energy resources, including combined heat-and-power plants, microgrids and renewable energy to power key centers like hospitals, universities and large employers. It advocates for slashing PREPA’s budget and for replacing the utility’s one-size-fits-all electricity rates with a two-tier structure: 15 cents per kilowatt-hour for industry and 21 cents per kWh for individual consumers.The Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado has been promoting its microgrid projects on other Caribbean islands.“We are working with partners to design a new 21st-century, hurricane-resistant system” for Puerto Rico, said Chris Burgess, a director of projects at the Rocky Mountain Institute. That grid would have buried distribution lines; rely on distributed solar power and batteries; and support hospitals, shelters, and police and fire stations with microgrids. He added that the principal argument is that renewable power is more cost-effective than fuel oil and less subject to violent price swings. “Fuel is the No. 1 cost to the electricity customers,” he said.Berger, the head of Sunnova, said he is shopping around a proposal to take the federal solar investment tax credit, which companies and residences can take advantage of to lower the cost of a solar system, and tweak it for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which was also pummeled by Hurricane Maria. Instead of a tax credit, it would for a period of time be made into a direct cash payment that would spur quicker investment in solar power.Meanwhile, AES, the long-standing Puerto Rico energy player, has ideas of its own. It points to 20 MW of battery-based energy storage that it has deployed in the Dominican Republic, where it helped maintain grid reliability in September when Hurricanes Irma and Maria raked the island.Praveen Kathpal, AES’s vice president of energy storage, said in an interview that the batteries provided frequency control during the storms, providing second-to-second balancing of supply and demand, and smoothed out swings in frequency as the hurricane knocked out lines.More: “Lots of talk, little action on remaking Puerto Rico’s grid” ‘Lots of Talk, Little Action’ on Puerto Rico Transition
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ABC:Australia’s biggest steel company is investing in a major new solar farm in a bid to cut energy costs and improve reliability.Bluescope and ESCO Power signed a seven-year deal in Wollongong on Friday, in what is the country’s largest-ever solar power-purchasing agreement. It will result in the steelmaker underwriting the construction of a 500,000-panel solar farm at Finley in the NSW Riverina region.Bluescope chief executive of steel products John Nowlan said power generated from the solar plant would meet 20 percent of the company’s energy needs. “As you can imagine, we’re a large user of electricity. What we’re balancing is the need for reliable power, low-cost power and clean power, so this is a step in the right direction on all those fronts,” Nowlan said. “We’ve been working very hard over the last few years to make sure that our steelmaking operations here in the Illawarra in particular are competitive,” he said.“Over the last couple of years our electricity costs have more than doubled, and they’ve gone up by something like $50 million over the last 12 months or so. That’s a significant increase in our costs, and what we’re trying to do is put downward pressure on our energy costs, and this arrangement helps us to do that.”NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin said it was a good example of the private sector taking action in arresting rising power costs.Large-scale solar farms have been popping up right across inland NSW, and Mr. Harwin said solar, along with hydro and wind, would lead the energy transition. “There’s no doubt the cost structure of renewables is changing. Once upon a time it was a very expensive technology. It’s now becoming very fast the cheapest new build,” Harwin said.More: Steel giant Bluescope turns to solar in largest power-purchasing deal of its kind Australia’s largest steelmaker inks major solar power deal
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:Plans for a new nuclear power station in Cumbria have been scrapped after the Japanese conglomerate Toshiba announced it was winding up the UK unit behind the project. Toshiba said it would take a 18.8bn Japanese yen (£125m) hit from closing its NuGeneration subsidiary, which had already been cut to a skeleton staff, after it failed to find a buyer for the scheme.The decision represents a major blow to the government’s ambitions for new nuclear and leaves a huge hole in energy policy. The plant would have provided about 7% of UK electricity.After a board meeting of Toshiba on Thursday, the company said it was winding up NuGeneration because of its inability to find a buyer and the ongoing costs it was incurring. The firm has already spent more than £400m on the project. “Toshiba recognises that the economically rational decision is to withdraw from the UK nuclear power plant construction project, and has resolved to take steps to wind-up NuGen,” the firm said in a statement.Some industry watchers said the collapse of the scheme should be seen as an opportunity rather than a risk, for the UK to prioritise renewables instead.Jonathan Marshall, an analyst at the ECIU thinktank, said: “Shifting away from expensive, complicated technology towards cheaper and easier to build renewables gives the UK the opportunity to build an electricity system that will keep bills for homes and businesses down for years to come.”More: U.K. nuclear power station plans scrapped as Toshiba pulls out Toshiba withdrawal kills major U.K. nuclear project
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:The wind energy industry installed 51.3 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity last year, a 3.6 percent fall when compared to 2017’s growth, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) said Tuesday.Despite this reduction, the international trade association said that the growth of the worldwide wind market had “been stable” since 2014, with more than 50 GW of new capacity installed each year.Total installed capacity stood at 591 GW at the end of 2018, which represents an increase of 9.6 percent compared to the end of 2017, the GWEC added. Installed capacity relates to how much energy can be produced at maximum output, not what is currently being generated.GWEC CEO Ben Backwell said that China had led “both onshore and offshore growth,” adding that “huge growth” was expected in Asia “through the coming decade and beyond.” Breaking the figures down, the onshore sector was responsible for 46.8 GW of new capacity in 2018, while the offshore wind market added 4.49 GW.Looking ahead, the GWEC’s Director of Market Intelligence Karin Ohlenforst said that the organization expected “55 GW or more to be added each year until 2023,” adding that the offshore marked would “grow on a global scale.”More: China leads the way as wind energy sees another year of stable growth Trade group says global wind capacity climbed to 591GW in 2018
Greek utility PPC to sell power from new 200MW solar farm at record-low price FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:Greece has launched a series of renewable energy tenders to procure new solar PV and wind power capacity in separate auctions and joint tenders. Earlier this week, it held its second-ever joint renewable energy tender with a single pot for both technologies. It ended up awarding 502.94 MW of capacity, including 350 MW of solar.The tender resulted in a record-breaking tariff of €0.04911/kWh for a 200 MW solar project that will be built in Ptolemaida, a mining region in Greece’s Macedonia region.State-owned utility Public Power Corp. (PPC) is backing the project. The installation will serve as the starting point of a broader plan to develop an additional 3 GW of PV capacity in the country’s mining regions.EMV, which is backed by France’s EDF, offered a rate of €0.05068/kWh – the tender’s second-lowest tariff – for a 70 MW solar project in the municipality of Evrotas, on the Peloponnese Peninsula.Greece’s Panagakos Group, meanwhile, offered the round’s highest successful tariff, at €0.05482/kWh, for a string of PV parks that will be developed by two companies, Spes Solaris 3 and Spes Solaris Solar Concept.Greece’s tender regime has driven a steady reduction in tariffs, which will benefit Greek electricity consumers and the national economy. More importantly, it has also cultivated a competitive environment for domestic companies, as they now need to set strategies to beat international players in the Greek market. This was something that was unthinkable just a few years ago.[Ilias Tsagas]More: Greece wraps up PV tender with record-breaking €0.04911/kWh tariff
I stumbled into Burnt Spruce backcountry campsite on the North Carolina side of the Smokies, practically starving. I’d spent the last mile mentally inventorying the food in my pack, grateful for some mood-lifting, gut-filling munchies to be devoured upon stopping. A heavyset, pig-tailed middle-aged woman sat by the fire ring. She was considering her food situation, too. I glanced toward her stockpile, lying atop a stump. Either this hiker was a newbie or on some sort of crash diet — she was settling between 3 pieces of unidentifiable hard candy, a smashed loaf of white bread, and a can of cabbage.I’d been there before. It’s an evolutionary process to reach the point where your pack contains trail foods that don’t suck.When you think of trail foods, do beef jerky, gorp, and Ramen noodles automatically come to mind? Or maybe it’s the freeze-dried stuff or prepackaged oatmeal? The underlying philosophy of trail fare is this: you want foods that have as little water weight as possible, are packaged for travel, are nutritious (or at least filling), and are easy to make. But if you are me, you also think of what you can get away with. Drop a grain of salt in your pack when reading this and don’t blame me for food poisoning.When I started backpacking, I tried freeze-dried and other pre-packaged “add water and wait” meals. Generally coming in the foil pouches into which you add boiling water, freeze-dried meals are much tastier than they used to be. After repeated price shock, I started to experiment, bringing my indoor pantry outdoors.First of all, why the paranoia on spoiled food? If it smells bad, don’t eat it. The majority of backpackers I know hike no longer than a week on the average, if not just a weekend. So why eat like an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker?Breakfast. Carry fresh fruit for your first morning — bananas, apples, or tangerines, even if they are heavy. What about country ham, bagels and cream cheese? Toast the bagels over the fire after heating the country ham and you have a lip-smackin’ winner. Make a dried fruit/nut mix of your choosing – blueberries, cranberries, almonds — then add it to Cheerios with some reconstituted dried milk and you’ve got a healthy first meal. 1 2 3 Photo from Getty Images
Outdoor industry stalwart Columbia Sportswear is introducing a new concept in cold-weather insulation to the apparel market, and the new pieces, which blend down with proprietary synthetic filling, are hitting stores now. Performance Enhanced Down, or, TurboDown, featuring a patent-pending construction technique, is what the company says is like a “down jacket on steroids.”Regarding Columbia’s catch phrase “PED,” the irony is not lost on company president and CEO Tim Boyle. “Performance Enhanced Down offers unmatched performance and now you can experience how science can enhance the limitations of nature — and it’s legal,” he said from his Portland, Oregon, headquarters.TurboDown leverages the strengths of its science combined with the natural properties of down, layering synthetic Omni-Heat thermal insulation, natural down filling, and an Omni-Heat Reflective technology laminate into every baffle on the new jackets.The result is a product that has the warmth, the look and feel of natural down, and performance in all conditions. Other manufacturers are attempting to solve the same problem — harnessing the benefits of natural down while still making a jacket functional for wet-weather conditions.Columbia says products insulated with TurboDown performed better than comparable brands in third-party testing, beating competitors by margins ranging from 8% to 22% warmer.In keeping with Columbia’s commitment to making its products accessible to all outdoors enthusiasts, the collection will be tiered in three categories, Gold, Platinum and Diamond. And the jackets and vests will range in price from $130 to $325. Visit Columbia.com for more information.
Scott Jurek knows pain.At the 2005 Badwater 135-Mile Race in Death Valley, Scott Jurek was curled on the hot asphalt puking his guts out. Amid the intense, 100-degree heat, Scott’s body had broken down and finally collapsed on the side of the road. Runners passed him. Lying in puddles of his own pavement-baked vomit, he was ready to quit.But he didn’t.He eventually scraped himself off the asphalt and got to his feet. Over the next sixty miles, he chased down the leaders and set a new course record, becoming the youngest runner ever to win Badwater.Since then, Scott has made several astonishing comebacks. In 2009, after his mother died and his marriage fell apart, he resurrected himself from a disappointing year of racing defeats to set a new 24-hour American distance record.Last week, at age 41, Scott began his attempt to break the Appalachian Trail speed record. I joined him on the trail near Big Bald, N.C., six days and 300 miles into his trek.Scott by his support van with his wife and crew leader Jenny Jurek, and former A.T. record holder and ultra legend David Horton, who has been meeting up with Scott Jurek along the trail to offer encouragement and advice.He had a brace on his right knee when I met him north of Devils Fork Gap. His knee pain had started in the ragged, rugged Smokies, and he had been overcompensating with his left leg for the past 50 miles. By the time we reached Sams Gap, his left quad was on fire.He soldiered up the steep climb to Big Bald. Atop the windswept summit, Scott could barely walk. He had torn his left quad and was reduced to a hobble.“This is a game changer,” he muttered.He limped down the back side of Big Bald in a downpour and finally staggered off the trail in excruciating pain near Erwin, Tennessee yesterday.His thru-hike seems to be over. His record chase seems finished.Except that this is Scott Jurek. If anyone can rise from the ashes, it’s the lone wolf from the Minnesota flatlands who transformed himself from an unassuming farm boy to the world’s greatest ultra runner.If this torn quad is as debilitating as it seems, I hope Scott calls it quits. He’s already shattered countless trail records and left nothing unproven. He has elevated himself and the sport of ultrarunning beyond anyone’s wildest dreams, including his own. My admiration for him will only deepen if he listens to his broken body and it tells him to stop.But never count him out. Today, Scott should have announced the end of his journey. Instead, he continued hiking 36 miles north on a torn quad.Scott Jurek knows pain. But he also knows something more important: himself. As a physical therapist, he intimately understands the inner workings of the human body and knows better than anyone its ability to heal itself. He is also a lifelong student of the human spirit, honed by long, lonely miles in the woods, a Zen clarity of mind, and a Spartan inner discipline.I’ve shared the trail with Scott many times—always far behind him. But once, near the beginning of the Promise Land 50K, I was within earshot of Scott and the lead pack. The race began before dawn, and the frontrunners’ headlamps flickered through the still, silent forest. Suddenly, from up ahead, I heard a piercing, rapturous wolf-like howl echoing across the mountains. It was Scott, and it was pure animal joy.Scott Jurek knows pain. And he also knows how to transcend it.
Knoxville, Tennessee has long been known (and winning as Top Town 2015 in our magazine) as a fantastic base camp for exploring the nearby wilds of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, the Obed Wild and Scenic River, and the Cumberland Plateau. However in 2016, this rapidly evolving city of 183,000 plus—home to the University of Tennessee—has more possibilities for outdoor adventures within its city limits than could ever be imagined. Last year the city crushed nation-wide competition to win a $100,000 grant from Bell Helmets which resulted in the construction of the Devil’s Racetrack, a wild and burly downhill gravity trail within the city limits that everyone won’t stop talking about. And with solid year-round work in land conservation and recreation promotion from local entities such as the Legacy Parks Foundation, Knoxville is fast becoming one of the hottest outdoor cities on the east coast.When you arrive:As soon as you pull into town be sure to go into the Visit Knoxville visitor center downtown (free parking) and pick up maps, information, merchandise, and more. This place and its staff are a wealth of knowledge for the trails and outdoor opportunities all over the city. If you show up to the center during the lunch hour Monday-Saturday, you will even catch a free bluegrass or Americana show courtesy of the WDVX Blue Plate special.Also be sure to go by and pay a visit to the Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center. (I mean really…how many cities can say they have their own adventure center?) Situated on Volunteer Landing in the heart of downtown along the shores of the Tennessee River, this operation supported by the Legacy Parks Foundation is another essential hub of information and resources. Maps, clinics, bike/canoe/SUP rentals and more will assure that you never have a lack of outdoor pursuits at your fingertips while you’re in town.Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center: Photo courtesy of Legacy Parks FoundationDay One Adventures:Explore the South Loop Trail in the Urban WildernessSituated across the river and only 10 minutes from downtown, the Urban Wilderness is one of the crown jewels of today’s thriving outdoor scene in Knoxville. Consisting of 1,000 acres, 5 parks, and 42 miles of trails, this interconnected system of mostly single-track trails is a hotbed for running, hiking, and biking. The Main Loop of the Corridor is a 12.5 mile route that connects all of the various parks and their systems. A couple of must-see areas of the loop include the Hastie Natural Area which offers a lot for mountain bikers and trail runners and Mead’s Quarry with its beautiful lake where you can even rent bikes, boats, and stand up paddleboards from a seasonal booth by the trusted professionals at River Sports Outfitters. You could easily spend all 48 hours of your Knoxville time just playing in the Urban Wilderness.Trail running in Hastie Natural Area of the Urban Wilderness: photo courtesy of Legacy Parks FoundationClimb through the treetops at Ijams Nature CenterThe Ijams Nature Center is a beautiful and educational 300-acre preserve that falls within the Urban Wilderness. Complete with trails, indoor and outdoor play spaces, and a wide variety of educational exhibits, Ijams has long been a favorite area for families living in and visiting Knoxville. Recently, exciting new offerings have emerged with the opening of a new challenge park and zipline/canopy tour experience from Asheville-based Navitat.Boardwalk along the preserve at Ijams Nature Center: photo courtesy of Outdoor Knoxville Day Two Adventures:Take the plunge at Ft. Dickerson ParkHow about waking up to a morning dip within a deep blue lake set amidst rugged sheer cliffs? The Ft. Dickerson quarry is a perfect way to start your day with a location only minutes from downtown and the UT campus. There are even a few trails here along the bluffs to get in a short morning leg-stretcher.Fort Dickerson Quarry : photo courtesy of Legacy Parks FoundationPaddling, fishing, and birding at Seven Islands Wildlife RefugeAbout 20 minutes out of downtown, the Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge is a paddler’s haven. Easy access to the French Broad River immediately places you on one of the oldest rivers in the world and one of its most beautiful stretches along its 218-mile course. More than 50 species of fish call this river home and the surrounding 360-acre park is Tennessee’s first birding park, complete with over 8-miles of trails and 180 species of birds. Before leaving town to explore this park, be sure to seek out fishing beta and any tips on pursuing the river’s smallmouth bass from the good folks at 3 Rivers Angler.Fishing the French Broad near Seven Islands: photo courtesy of Outdoor KnoxvilleHike the tallest peak in the countyHouse Mountain stands prominently in a 500-acre natural area riddled with vertical bluffs, rock houses, huge boulders, and craggy overlooks that provide magnificent views of the Cumberland Mountains, the Unaka range, the Smokies, and downtown Knoxville. This preserve, with nearly 6 miles of trails spanning the highest mountain in Knox County, is less than 30 minutes from downtown. Be ready for a good workout as a number of the trails are relatively steep. Before leaving for your hike, check out either of the two outposts of Blue Ridge Mountain Sports in Knoxville for all of your gear, apparel and information needs.Layers of mountains on show from House Mountain: photo courtesy of Outdoor KnoxvilleFood:Knoxville’s dining scene is very impressive and you will find plenty for every taste and every budget. Just a few of our favorites are listed below:Stock and Barrel – An award-winning yet casual farm to table concept supporting regional food producers and featuring some of the most delicious and innovative burgers you will ever eat along with an extensive bourbon list. What’s not to love?Sustenance from Stock and Barrel: photo courtesy of Stock and BarrelThe Tomato Head – Located in the beautiful and bustling Market Square (along with Stock and Barrel), The Tomato Head is as much of a community institution as it is a fantastic restaurant. This place never disappoints with fresh ingredients that go into pizzas, sandwiches, salads, burritos, and much more.Knox Mason – “Contemporary Southern and hyper-local” is the key mantra here and this exquisite dining experience is not to be missed. Chef and owner Matt Gallagher spent years in the kitchen at Tenessee’s legendarily luxe Blackberry Farm. Recently Gallagher also opened Emilia, a much-acclaimed Italian restaurant in the buzzy Market Square area of downtown Knoxville.Knox Mason: Photo Courtesy of Kristin LunaJ.C. Holdway – Joseph Linn , Knoxville native and Tennessee’s first James Beard awarded chef, has opened this stylish new restaurant to rave reviews. Named after an uncle, J.C. Holdway showcases exceptional Southeastern food all cooked by woodfire.Interior of J.C. Holdway – photo by J.C. HoldwayOlibea – Located in the Old City, this relative newcomer has received a lot of media buzz and should be on your list for this: To fuel your morning. Trust me. Brunch is offered every day of the week.Breakfast at Olibea: photo courtesy of Kristin LunaSunspot – The motto here is “where tie-dyes and neckties unite.” Situated on “The Strip” that runs through the heart of the university, this hip and inviting local fave has a menu for everyone. Great vegetarian and gluten-free options here also. Cycle the city greenways and enjoy a locally loved beer gardenThe greenway system is truly impressive here with over 65 miles of trails spanning the city. To cap off your first big day of adventure, take a spin or a run from the Outdoor Adventure Center alongside the Tennessee River on the Neyland Greenway to the UT Gardens. From there head north along the Third Creek Greenway through Tyson Park until reaching the Bearden Beer Market. This extremely popular hangout is perfect with a wide selection of brews and an outdoor beer garden. Find yourself here on a Tuesday or a Thursday evening and take part in the ritual 5K social run with up to 100 other area runners. Beers are discounted $1 per pint once you get back from your run.Biking the Neyland Greenway: Photo by Steven Bridges Libations and Nightlife:Just hopping and exploring from Market Square to Old City alone is enough to keep your need to imbibe and celebrate satisfied. But we wanted to save you some work with these recommendations:K Brew – Start your morning the right way at this shrine to the coffee bean. This team knows their stuff and they serve up one of the best pour-overs in town.Morning fuel from K Brew: photo courtesy of K BrewAlliance Brewing Company – Located very close to Ijams Nature Center and the Urban Wilderness trails, Alliance serves as the perfect post-adventure base to catch up with friends, share stories from the trail, and enjoy the brewery’s unique and traditional craft beers.Suttree’s High Gravity Tavern –Named for a classic novel by native son Cormac McCarthy, Suttree’s focuses on craft beer with a specialty in high-gravity selections. This place is a neighborhood favorite.The Peter Kern Library – A VERY cool speakeasy inside The Oliver boutique hotel. Enter from an alley or an unmarked sliding door inside the hotel lobby. Think mahogany, a fireplace, books, and superior cocktails.The Peter Kern Library: photo courtesy of Kristin LunaThe Tennessee Theatre and The Bijou Theatre – Both of these historic and beautifully restored theaters situated in the heart of downtown are must-visit locales-to check out for concerts and performances by national acts. Knoxville-based A.C. Entertainment (known for the creation of such grand festivals as Bonnaroo and Forecastle) buys and books the talent for both of these venues if that tells you anything.The Mill and Mine – Speaking of AC Entertainment, new for 2016 is the arrival of this state of the art 20,000+ sq ft music venue in downtown opened in part by AC himself (music and entertainment booking legend Ashley Capps). This amazing space has already seen acts such as Band of Horses and the Black Lillies and as of this writing…Lucero, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, and many more will be taking the stage there soon.Lodging:Visit Knoxville is the site to research for all of your best options on where you are going to lay your head after all of your city adventures. There is a multitude of choices matching all wallets, but here are two fun ones on opposite ends of the spectrum:Oliver Hotel – Super swank yet artsy and unique boutique hotel situated right off of Market Square in the heart of downtown. You will find the aforementioned Peter Kern Library here as well as some of the best access to all things mentioned in this guide.The Oliver Hotel: photo courtesy of Kristin LunaLily Pad Campground on the Obed – Although it is 45 minutes from downtown, we would be remiss if we did not mention one of the coolest and friendliest campgrounds around. The Lily Pad is a legendary location situated within the heart of a climbing mecca, complete with fire pits, corn hole, and a community general store inside a cabin that operates on the honor system!One Event Not to Miss:Rhythm and Blooms – Held every April, this is an explosive and understated music festival. Rhythm and Blooms has hosted acts such as Drive By Truckers, The Decemberists, The Apache Relay, JD McPherson, Delta Spirit, Langhorne Slim, local rockers The Dirty Guv’nahs, and many more.Native Knowledge:“What I love about Knoxville is that I have found that I actually like staying around town on the weekends every bit as much as traveling somewhere else. I have everything I need here. The biggest problem usually is deciding what to do! We have a full host of outdoor activities within easy reach like fly fishing, mountain biking, trail running, hiking, and camping. But what rounds out Knoxville as a fun place to be is the live music, great bars, and the really easy-going local folks.” – Knoxville resident and outdoor wild man Joe StalerCheck out our short Top Towns 2015 video on Knoxville below:More 48 Hours:
When most people see the word “rabies,” they think of rabid dogs, raccoons, skunks, and foxes. While those are certainly vectors of the viral disease, Bryan Simon, co-owner of Vertical Medicine Resources and Associate Editor for the American Alpine Club’s yearly guide, Accidents in North American Climbing, wants outdoor enthusiasts to think of bats, too.“They’re one of the most common vectors we as outdoor enthusiasts encounter here in the U.S.,” says Simon, who himself was bitten by a bat while climbing in June 2015, just a year after he wrote a report for Accidents in North American Climbing on a climber-bat incident at the Bozoo rocks in West Virginia.In nearly all instances, rabies left untreated is fatal, which is why it’s so important that patients receive post-exposure prophylaxis and human rabies immune globulin within 24 hours of the animal bite. Even more importantly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone who even suspects having come into contact with a bat should receive the vaccine, just to be safe.Wake up after a night in an Appalachian Trail shelter and see bats roosting in the rafters? Get the vaccine. Pull your hand out of a crack, see a bat inside, but don’t feel any pain on your hand? Definitely, definitely get the vaccine.“This is not something to joke around about,” Simon says. “A lot of times people who don’t have a lot of pain, they tend to ignore the injury.”But when it comes to rabies, playing the “tough guy” card can result in loss of life.What to do:Know signs and symptoms of rabies in animals. This includes foaming at the mouth and erratic or abnormal behavior.Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid sleeping in areas where bats are known to roost or where bat guano is clearly present.Should you be planning to travel overseas to areas where rabid dogs are common, consider getting a pre-exposure rabies vaccine. “It is fairly expensive,” says Simon, “and if you’ve been bitten by an animal that you suspect has rabies, whether you’ve had the rabies vaccine or not, you still need to get to the hospital as soon as possible.” The difference in the end is two post-exposure doses versus the four you will need (plus the human rabies immune globulin) if you have not had a pre-exposure vaccine.If you so much as suspect you have been exposed to bats or other rabid animals, seek medical care immediately. “It’s a medical urgency, not emergency,” Simon adds. “I wouldn’t want someone speeding 80 miles per hour down the interstate, but you need to get out of wherever you’re at and to a hospital within 24 hours.”Call nearby hospitals to see which one carries the post-exposure prophylaxis. “Certainly don’t go to an urgent care. They’re not going to have what you need, and some hospitals even don’t carry everything. It pays to call ahead.”Wash bite site immediately with soap and copious amounts of water.Begin post-exposure prophylaxis within 24 hours of incident. Additional doses must be taken on days 3, 7, and 14 after the first vaccination.Read more about worst-case scenarios here.