Text of Justice David Souter’s speech

first_imgWhen I was younger, I used to hear Harvard stories from a member of the class of 1885.  Back then, old graduates of the College who could get to Cambridge on Commencement Day didn’t wait for reunion years to come back to the Yard.  They’d just turn up, see old friends, look over the new crop, and have a cup of Commencement punch under the elms.  The old man remembered one of those summer days when he was heading for the Square after lunch and crossed paths with a newly graduated senior, who had enjoyed quite a few cups of that punch.  As the two men approached each other the younger one thrust out his new diploma and shouted, “Educated, by God.”Even with an honorary Harvard doctorate in my hands, I know enough not to shout that across the Yard, but the University’s generosity does make me bold enough to say that over the course of 19 years on the Supreme Court, I learned some lessons about the Constitution of the United States, and about what judges do when they apply it in deciding cases with constitutional issues.  I’m going to draw on that experience in the course of the next few minutes, for it is as a judge that I have been given the honor to speak before you.The occasion for our coming together like this aligns with the approach of two separate events on the judicial side of the national public life:  the end of the Supreme Court’s term, with its quickened pace of decisions, and a confirmation proceeding for the latest nominee to fill a seat on the court.  We will as a consequence be hearing and discussing a particular sort of criticism that is frequently aimed at the more controversial Supreme Court decisions:  criticism that the court is making up the law, that the court is announcing constitutional rules that cannot be found in the Constitution, and that the court is engaging in activism to extend civil liberties.  A good many of us, I’m sure a good many of us here, intuitively react that this sort of commentary tends to miss the mark.  But we don’t often pause to consider in any detail the conceptions of the Constitution and of constitutional judging that underlie the critical rhetoric, or to compare them with the notions that lie behind our own intuitive responses.  I’m going to try to make some of those comparisons this afternoon.The charges of lawmaking and constitutional novelty seem to be based on an impression of the Constitution, and on a template for deciding constitutional claims, that go together something like this.  A claim is made in court that the government is entitled to exercise a power, or an individual is entitled to claim the benefit of a right, that is set out in the terms of some particular provision of the Constitution.  The claimant quotes the provision and provides evidence of facts that are said to prove the entitlement that is claimed.  Once they have been determined, the facts on their face either do or do not support the claim.  If they do, the court gives judgment for the claimant; if they don’t, judgment goes to the party contesting the claim.  On this view, deciding constitutional cases should be a straightforward exercise of reading fairly and viewing facts objectively.There are, of course, constitutional claims that would be decided just about the way this fair reading model would have it.  If one of today’s 21-year-old college graduates claimed a place on the ballot for one of the United States Senate seats open this year, the claim could be disposed of simply by showing the person’s age, quoting the constitutional provision that a senator must be at least 30 years old, and interpreting that requirement to forbid access to the ballot to someone who could not qualify to serve if elected.  No one would be apt to respond that lawmaking was going on, or object that the age requirement did not say anything about ballot access.  The fair reading model would describe pretty much what would happen.  But cases like this do not usually come to court, or at least the Supreme Court. And for the ones that do get there, for the cases that tend to raise the national blood pressure, the fair reading model has only a tenuous connection to reality.Even a moment’s thought is enough to show why it is so unrealistic.  The Constitution has a good share of deliberately open-ended guarantees, like rights to due process of law, equal protection of the law, and freedom from unreasonable searches.  These provisions cannot be applied like the requirement for 30-year-old senators; they call for more elaborate reasoning to show why very general language applies in some specific cases but not in others, and over time the various examples turn into rules that the Constitution does not mention.But this explanation hardly scratches the surface.  The reasons that constitutional judging is not a mere combination of fair reading and simple facts extend way beyond the recognition that constitutions have to have a lot of general language in order to be useful over long stretches of time.  Another reason is that the Constitution contains values that may well exist in tension with each other, not in harmony.  Yet another reason is that the facts that determine whether a constitutional provision applies may be very different from facts like a person’s age or the amount of the grocery bill; constitutional facts may require judges to understand the meaning that the facts may bear before the judges can figure out what to make of them.  And this can be tricky.  To show you what I’m getting at, I’ve picked two examples of what can really happen, two stories of two great cases.  The two stories won’t, of course, give anything like a complete description either of the Constitution or of judging, but I think they will show how unrealistic the fair reading model can be.The first story is about what the Constitution is like.  It’s going to show that the Constitution is no simple contract, not because it uses a certain amount of open-ended language that a contract draftsman would try to avoid, but because its language grants and guarantees many good things, and good things that compete with each other and can never all be realized, all together, all at once.The story is about a case that many of us here remember.  It was argued before the Supreme Court of the United States on June 26, 1971, and is known as the Pentagon Papers.  The New York Times and the Washington Post had each obtained copies of classified documents prepared and compiled by government officials responsible for conducting the Vietnam War.  The newspapers intended to publish some of those documents, and the government sought a court order forbidding the publication.The issue had arisen in great haste, and had traveled from trial courts to the Supreme Court, not over the course of months, but in a matter of days.  The time was one of high passion, and the claim made by the United States was the most extreme claim known to the constitutional doctrines of freedom to speak and publish.  The government said it was entitled to a prior restraint, an order forbidding publication in the first place, not merely one imposing a penalty for unlawful publication after the words are out.  The argument included an exchange between a great lawyer appearing for the government and a great judge, and the colloquy between them was one of those instances of a grain of sand that reveals a universe.The great lawyer for the United States was a man who had spent many Commencement mornings in this Yard.  He was Erwin Griswold, dean of the Law School for 21 years, who was serving a stint as solicitor general of the United States.  The great judge who questioned the dean that day was Mr. Justice Black, the first of the New Deal justices, whom Justice Cardozo described as having one of the most brilliant legal minds he had ever met with.  The constitutional provision on which their exchange centered was the First Amendment, which includes the familiar words that “Congress shall make no law …  abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”  Although that language by its literal terms forbade Congress from legislating to abridge free expression, the guarantees were understood to bind the whole government, and to limit what the president could ask a court to do.  As for the remainder of the provision, though, Justice Black professed to read it literally.  When it said there shall be no law allowed, it left no room for any exception; the prohibition against abridging freedom of speech and press was absolute.  And in fairness to him, one must say that on their face the First Amendment clauses seem as clear as the requirement for 30-year-old senators, and that no guarantee of the Bill of Rights is more absolute in form.But that was not the end of the matter for Dean Griswold.  Notwithstanding the language, he urged the court to say that a restraint would be constitutional when publication threatened irreparable harm to the security of the United States, and he contended there was enough in the record to show just that; he argued that the intended publications would threaten lives, and jeopardize the process of trying to end the war and recover prisoners, and erode the government’s capacity to negotiate with foreign governments and through foreign governments in the future.Justice Black responded that if a court could suppress publication when the risk to the national interest was great enough, the judges would be turned into censors.  Dean Griswold said he did not know of any alternative.  Justice Black shot back that respecting the First Amendment might be the alternative, and to that, Dean Griswold replied in words I cannot resist quoting:“The problem in this case,” he said, “is the construction of the First Amendment.“Now Mr. Justice, your construction of that is well-known, and I certainly respect it.  You say that no law means no law, and that should be obvious.  I can only say, Mr. Justice, that to me it is equally obvious that “no law” does not mean “no law,” and I would seek to persuade the Court that that is true.“As Chief Justice Marshall said, so long ago, it is a Constitution we are interpreting….”The government lost the case and the newspapers published, but Dean Griswold won his argument with Justice Black.  To show, as he put it, that “no law” did not mean “no law,” Dean Griswold had pointed out that the First Amendment was not the whole Constitution.  The Constitution also granted authority to the government to provide for the security of the nation, and authority to the president to manage foreign policy and command the military.And although he failed to convince the court that the capacity to exercise these powers would be seriously affected by publication of the papers, the court did recognize that at some point the authority to govern that Dean Griswold invoked could limit the right to publish.  The court did not decide the case on the ground that the words “no law” allowed of no exception and meant that the rights of expression were absolute.  The court’s majority decided only that the government had not met a high burden of showing facts that could justify a prior restraint, and particular members of the court spoke of examples that might have turned the case around, to go the other way.  Threatened publication of something like the D-Day invasion plans could have been enjoined; Justice Brennan mentioned a publication that would risk a nuclear holocaust in peacetime.Even the First Amendment, then, expressing the value of speech and publication in the terms of a right as paramount as any fundamental right can be, does not quite get to the point of an absolute guarantee.  It fails because the Constitution has to be read as a whole, and when it is, other values crop up in potential conflict with an unfettered right to publish, the value of security for the nation and the value of the president’s authority in matters foreign and military.  The explicit terms of the Constitution, in other words, can create a conflict of approved values, and the explicit terms of the Constitution do not resolve that conflict when it arises.  The guarantee of the right to publish is unconditional in its terms, and in its terms the power of the government to govern is plenary.  A choice may have to be made, not because language is vague but because the Constitution embodies the desire of the American people, like most people, to have things both ways.  We want order and security, and we want liberty.  And we want not only liberty but equality as well.  These paired desires of ours can clash, and when they do a court is forced to choose between them, between one constitutional good and another one.  The court has to decide which of our approved desires has the better claim, right here, right now, and a court has to do more than read fairly when it makes this kind of choice.  And choices like the ones that the justices envisioned in the Papers case make up much of what we call law.Let me ask a rhetorical question.  Should the choice and its explanation be called illegitimate law making?  Can it be an act beyond the judicial power when a choice must be made and the Constitution has not made it in advance in so many words?  You know my answer.  So much for the notion that all of constitutional law lies there in the Constitution waiting for a judge to read it fairly.Now let me tell a second story, not one illustrating the tensions within constitutional law, but one showing the subtlety of constitutional facts.  Again the story is about a famous case, and a good many of us here remember this one, too: Brown v. Board of Education from 1954, in which the Supreme Court unanimously held that racial segregation in public schools imposed by law was unconstitutional, as violating the guarantee of equal protection of the law.Brown ended the era of separate-but-equal, whose paradigm was the decision in 1896 of the case called Plessy v. Ferguson, where the Supreme Court had held it was no violation of the equal protection guarantee to require black people to ride in a separate railroad car that was physically equal to the car for whites.  One argument offered in Plessy was that the separate black car was a badge of inferiority, to which the court majority responded that if black people viewed it that way, the implication was merely a product of their own minds.  Sixty years later, Brown held that a segregated school required for black children was inherently unequal.For those whose exclusive norm for constitutional judging is merely fair reading of language applied to facts objectively viewed, Brown must either be flat-out wrong or a very mystifying decision.  Those who look to that model are not likely to think that a federal court back in 1896 should have declared legally mandated racial segregation unconstitutional.  But if Plessy was not wrong, how is it that Brown came out so differently?  The language of the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws did not change between 1896 and 1954, and it would be hard to say that the obvious facts on which Plessy was based had changed, either.  While Plessy was about railroad cars and Brown was about schools, that distinction was no great difference.  Actually, the best clue to the difference between the cases is the dates they were decided, which I think lead to the explanation for their divergent results.As I’ve said elsewhere, the members of the Court in Plessy remembered the day when human slavery was the law in much of the land.  To that generation, the formal equality of an identical railroad car meant progress.  But the generation in power in 1954 looked at enforced separation without the revolting background of slavery to make it look unexceptional by contrast.  As a consequence, the judges of 1954 found a meaning in segregating the races by law that the majority of their predecessors in 1896 did not see.  That meaning is not captured by descriptions of physically identical schools or physically identical railroad cars.  The meaning of facts arises elsewhere, and its judicial perception turns on the experience of the judges, and on their ability to think from a point of view different from their own.  Meaning comes from the capacity to see what is not in some simple, objective sense there on the printed page.  And when the judges in 1954 read the record of enforced segregation it carried only one possible meaning: It expressed a judgment of inherent inferiority on the part of the minority race.  The judges who understood the meaning that was apparent in 1954 would have violated their oaths to uphold the Constitution if they had not held the segregation mandate unconstitutional.Again, a rhetorical question.  Did the judges of 1954 cross some limit of legitimacy into law making by stating a conclusion that you will not find written in the Constitution?  Was it activism to act based on the current meaning of facts that at a purely objective level were about the same as Plessy’s facts 60 years before?  Again, you know my answer.  So much for the assumption that facts just lie there waiting for an objective judge to view them.Let me, like the lawyer that I am, sum up the case I’ve tried to present this afternoon.  The fair reading model fails to account for what the Constitution actually says, and it fails just as badly to understand what judges have no choice but to do.  The Constitution is a pantheon of values, and a lot of hard cases are hard because the Constitution gives no simple rule of decision for the cases in which one of the values is truly at odds with another.  Not even its most uncompromising and unconditional language can resolve every potential tension of one provision with another, tension the Constitution’s Framers left to be resolved another day; and another day after that, for our cases can give no answers that fit all conflicts, and no resolutions immune to rethinking when the significance of old facts may have changed in the changing world.  These are reasons enough to show how egregiously it misses the point to think of judges in constitutional cases as just sitting there reading constitutional phrases fairly and looking at reported facts objectively to produce their judgments.  Judges have to choose between the good things that the Constitution approves, and when they do, they have to choose, not on the basis of measurement, but of meaning.The fair reading model misses that, but it has even more to answer for.  Remember that the tensions that are the stuff of judging in so many hard constitutional cases are, after all, the creatures of our aspirations:  to value liberty, as well as order, and fairness and equality, as well as liberty.  And the very opportunity for conflict between one high value and another reflects our confidence that a way may be found to resolve it when a conflict arises.  That is why the simplistic view of the Constitution devalues our aspirations, and attacks that our confidence, and diminishes us.  It is a view of judging that means to discourage our tenacity (our sometimes reluctant tenacity) to keep the constitutional promises the nation has made.So, it is tempting to dismiss the critical rhetoric of lawmaking and activism as simply a rejection of too many of the hopes we profess to share as the American people.  But there is one thing more.  I have to believe that something deeper is involved, and that behind most dreams of a simpler Constitution there lies a basic human hunger for the certainty and control that the fair reading model seems to promise.  And who has not felt that same hunger?  Is there any one of us who has not lived through moments, or years, of longing for a world without ambiguity, and for the stability of something unchangeable in human institutions?  I don’t forget my own longings for certainty, which heartily resisted the pronouncement of Justice Holmes, that certainty generally is illusion and repose is not our destiny.But I have come to understand that he was right, and by the same token I understand that I differ from the critics I’ve described not merely in seeing the patent wisdom of the Brown decision, or in espousing the rule excluding unlawfully seized evidence, or in understanding the scope of habeas corpus.  Where I suspect we differ most fundamentally is in my belief that in an indeterminate world I cannot control, it is still possible to live fully in the trust that a way will be found leading through the uncertain future.  And to me, the future of the Constitution as the Framers wrote it can be staked only upon that same trust.  If we cannot share every intellectual assumption that formed the minds of those who framed the charter, we can still address the constitutional uncertainties the way they must have envisioned, by relying on reason, by respecting all the words the Framers wrote, by facing facts, and by seeking to understand their meaning for living people.That is how a judge lives in a state of trust, and I know of no other way to make good on the aspirations that tell us who we are, and who we mean to be, as the people of the United States.D.H.S.last_img read more

See More

Vahid Tarokh wins prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship

first_imgVahid Tarokh, Perkins Professor of Applied Mathematics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow of Electrical Engineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), has been awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship.Tarokh is among 180 scientists, scholars, and artists chosen this year as Fellows from a group of nearly 3,000 applicants across the United States and Canada.The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation selects candidates on the basis of “prior achievement and exceptional promise.”Tarokh is the only person selected this year in the field of applied mathematics. The $35,000 fellowship will support his research, which aims to understand the spectral properties and pseudo-randomness of matrices constructed from deterministic structures such as codes, block designs, and graphs.“I’m very grateful to the Guggenheim Foundation for their support,” says Tarokh. “It gives me the opportunity to explore a high-risk idea that may have enormous potential applications.”last_img read more

See More

Africa’s love supreme

first_imgA conference April 11 at Harvard will examine varieties of “Love Supreme” in the faith traditions of the African diaspora. Scholars, students, artists, and elders will investigate and celebrate practices that, more often than not, were scattered through the world on the dark wings of the slave trade.“These are traditions that are right under people’s noses,” said co-organizer Funlayo E. Wood, a Harvard Ph.D. candidate in African and African American Studies whose primary field is religion. “The more they learn, the more they see these traditions everywhere.”Wood directs the African and Diasporic Religious Studies Association, now two years old. (A year ago, its first conference delved into the theme of divine spaces.) It is the only academic group in the United States devoted exclusively to studying the faith traditions indigenous to Africa as well as those of the African diaspora.The names of the faiths sound as venerable as the practices themselves. Ifá-Òrìsà is a spiritual practice that originated with the Yoruba of present-day Nigeria. (Wood is an Òrìsà priestess.) Akan traditions originated with the original people of parts of Ghana and the Ivory Coast. The rituals of Dagara arose out of present-day Burkina Faso. (Sobonfu Somé, a practitioner, will deliver the day’s keynote.) Vodou originated in Haiti when it was a French slave colony. Ifá, a West African divination system, is part of the Ifá-Òrìsà faith practiced at Ile Omo Ope, a shrine in Harlem.The shrine’s chief priest, Awo Oluwole Ifakunle Adetutu Alagbede, will open the conference Friday morning with a libation. Last year, he remarked on the stable and unpretentious ethic behind many diasporic traditions. “Christians look toward the sky,” he said of his water blessing. “We look toward the ground.”Registrants — 100 so far, with another 50 expected — will get a day of grounding in traditions that emphasize family, stability, and community. The dozen or so presenters and panelists will include American scholars and graduate students, a novelist (Jamaica Kincaid), a painter, a dancer, a filmmaker, and a sexuality counselor.The counselor, DeShannon Bowens, is a psychotherapist and interfaith minister who spoke at last year’s conference on the legacy of sexual trauma among people of African descent. This year she will talk about Ifá perspectives on sexuality and connection. “As an Òrìsà priestess of the Yoruba-Ifá tradition,” said Bowens, “I know African indigenous religious practitioners have something valuable to bring to conversations about sexuality and religion.” The sexuality panel has a lighter side too. For one, its called “Ooh Ahh Tcha Tcha: Hypersex, Healing Sex, and Sonic Ecstasy.” (The “sonic” refers to a presentation on Vodou’s ritual rattle by Kyrah M. Daniels, a Ph.D. candidate in the same Harvard program as Wood.)Daniels also helped organize the conference, along with first-year doctoral student Khytie Brown and Florida State University doctoral student Lisa Osunletia Beckley-Roberts.“Love and Devotion,” said Wood of the conference’s main themes. “It’s important to keep those in balance. Too much love can make you blind, too much devotion can make you a slave.” Negotiating those states of mind is important, she said, “and negotiation is part of what the conference seeks to explore.”Another panel will look at the “intimate spaces” of marriage, child rearing, and community building. In diasporic religious traditions from Africa “the language is a lot more relational,” said Wood, focusing on community and intimacy rather than simply personal salvation.The conference will include Zumbi Grey, who represents a sort of kinetic diaspora, though one with overtones of spirituality and community. He is a practitioner of capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that originated a fighting practice that slaves disguised as a form of dance. (The root word comes from Angola.)Dancer, cultural anthropologist, and historian Nzinga Metzger will look at another kinetic angle — “Dancing in Love and Devotion for Òrìsà” — during an afternoon arts roundtable. “Art, music, and dance are hugely important within the practice of African traditions,” said Wood.“Film is a relatively new medium,” she added, “and it’s really important [for educating] people who don’t take classes or go to conferences.” (Filmmaker Dalian Adofo — co-director of the documentary “Ancestral Voices: Esoteric African Knowledge” — will be on the roundtable. A film festival on Saturday will follow the conference. Viewers are welcome at the Center for the Study of World Regions, 42 Francis Ave.)The Los Angeles visual artist Bernard Hoyes, set to participate in an afternoon arts roundtable, embodies the creative African diaspora. He grew up in Jamaica, with little formal schooling until age 10. Instead, he spent all his time with a great-aunt who led a “band”: a cult of believers, he said, who drew from their African roots a cosmology of heavenly, earthly, and “ground” spirits.There was also drumming, dancing, and — from Christian influences — hymn-singing and readings from the King James Bible. After all, elsewhere in the Caribbean Vodou had cloaked itself “in the guise of the saints,” said Hoyes. “We were able to embrace other religions, and still keep African religions.”By the time he moved to New York City, at 15, “my spiritual inclination was very deep,” Hoyes said. Becoming an artist seemed natural, although before moving back to Jamaica at 25 he had veered into a world of abstract art that left him unsatisfied. “All of a sudden I hit a wall,” said Hoyes, until “I realized my affiliation with the revived cults. Things started to come back to me.”Spirituality comes down to feeling a kind of ecstasy in the everyday world, and to feeling present in the world, he said of both his art and the conference. “You can live in struggle,” said Hoyes, “or you can live in the joy of your ancestors.”last_img read more

See More

B’way Alums Natalie Mendoza & Chris Peluso Tapped for Miss Saigon

first_img View Comments The heat is still on in Saigon! Broadway alums Natalie Mendoza and Chris Peluso, along with Siobhan Dillon and Sangwoong Jo, are joining the cast of Miss Saigon on May 11. Directed by Laurence Connor, the revival of the classic musical is playing at London’s Prince Edward Theatre.Mendoza takes on the role of Gigi and was last seen on stage as Imelda Marcos in the U.K. National Theatre’s Here Lies Love; her other credits include Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark on Broadway. Peluso is making his West End debut as Chris having most recently appeared in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on the Great White Way. Dillon will play Ellen; she recently starred as ‘Sally Bowles’ in Rufus Norris’s production of Cabaret. Jo is making his West End debut as Thuy.Set in 1975 during the final days of the American occupation of Saigon, Miss Saigon is an epic love story about the relationship between an American GI and a young Vietnamese woman. Orphaned by war, 17-year-old Kim is forced to work as a bar girl in a sleazy Saigon nightclub, owned by a notorious wheeler-dealer known as “The Engineer.” John, an American GI, buys his friend Chris the services of Kim for the night—a night that will change their lives forever.Continuing in their roles are Jon Jon Briones as The Engineer, Eva Noblezada as Kim and Hugh Maynard as John. At certain performances Tanya Manalang continues to play the role of Kim and Christian Rey Marbella will be playing the role of The Engineer.last_img read more

See More

Best of the Blue Ridge 2016

first_imgWith 10 states in our coverage, we know there are hole-in-the-wall restaurants, off-the-beaten path views, and treasured local events that slide under our radar. That’s why we asked you, the reader, to help us in finding the best destinations, personalities, events, outdoor businesses, and après-adventure fuel in the Blue Ridge! Here are the 87 bests from Georgia to West Virginia.DESTINATIONSHiking TrailGreenbrier River Trail, W.VaRUNNER UP: Appalachian TrailHONORABLE MENTION: Endless Wall Trail, W.Va.Stretching for 78 miles along the Greenbrier River, this rail trail is a scenic glimpse into West Virginia’s storied past. Along the way, hikers can get a taste of the wild and wonderful state’s most remote gems like Watoga State Park, Seneca State Forest, and the Monongahela National Forest.A.T. SectionMcAfees Knob, Catawba, Va.RUNNER UP: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, N.C. and Tenn.HONORABLE MENTION: The Priest & Three Ridges, Va.Arguably the most iconic spot along the Virginia portion of the Appalachian Trail, you’ll want to bring a camera with you during your hike to McAfees. From the parking lot off of VA311, it’s a burly 4.5-mile climb of 1,700’ to the cliffs, but the effort is well-worth it, especially if you can motivate before sunrise.Swimming HoleBlue Hole, Charlottesville, Va.RUNNER UP: Sliding Rock, N.C.HONORABLE MENTION: Cascades, Va.One glimpse at the sparkling blue waters of this swimming hole will make this hike-to-dip an instant classic in your adventure repertoire. Often less crowded than nearby swimming holes, Blue Hole is just 1.5 miles down the Moormans River Trail.Running TrailGreenbrier River Trail, W.VaRUNNER UP: Virginia Creeper Trail, Va.HONORABLE MENTION: Bent Creek Experimental Forest, N.C.At 78 miles, the Greenbrier River Trail is perfectly poised to be an ultra runner’s FKT. The last time such a feat was accomplished was the summer of 2014. Lewisburg-based runner Jim Moore ran the length of the trail in just under 19 hours. Can you top him? If 78 miles is a little (or a lot) too much, check out the Great Greenbrier River Race, a mini-triathlon held each year on the last weekend of April.Paddling RiverGauley River, W.Va.RUNNER UP: New River, N.C., Va., W.Va.HONORABLE MENTION: James River, Va.Celebrated every fall, the Gauley River has it all—big water, stunning clifflines, and just enough challenge to keep even the pros stoked. The Upper and Lower sections both are a playboater’s wet dreams come true.Climbing CragNew River Gorge, W.Va.RUNNER UP: Pisgah National Forest, N.C.HONORABLE MENTION: Wintergreen Resort, Va.If you don’t already live out of your car, the New River Gorge will make you want to. With over 3,000 established sport and trad routes and hundreds more boulder problems, you can camp (at the American Alpine Club Campground) and climb to your heart’s content for an entire year and still barely scratch the surface of Nuttal sandstone goodness.CampgroundBear Den Campground,Spruce Pine, N.C.RUNNER UP: Greenbrier River Campground, W.Va.HONORABLE MENTION: ACE Adventure Resort, W.Va.If exploration of the Blue Ridge Parkway is what you’re after, there’s no better place to base yourself than Bear Den Campground. Located just past milepost 324.8, you can rough it out in your tent or spend a luxurious weekend in a cabin. Warning—some cabins may feature an indoor Jacuzzi. If you quit your job and go missing, we’ll know where to look.Biking TrailCarvins Cove Trails,Roanoke, Va.RUNNER UP: Dupont State Forest Trails, N.C.HONORABLE MENTION: James River, Va.Just eight miles from downtown Roanoke, Va., lies Carvins Cove, the second largest municipal park in the country. Aside from killer views of the 800-acre reservoir, mountain bikers can expect over 60 miles of singletrack fit for any skill level.Urban ParkJames River Park System, Richmond, Va.RUNNER UP: Urban Wilderness, Tenn.HONORABLE MENTION: Great Falls Park, Md. and Va.Boat, bike, climb, or just saunter your way through this 550-acre urban gem. The James River itself features class II-III+ rapids and can become especially rowdy at higher water. The intricate singletrack system that runs the length of the river offers runners and riders alike countless opportunities for loops.Ski RunOz Run, Beech Mountain, N.C.RUNNER UP: Cupp Run, Snowshoe Mountain, W.Va.HONORABLE MENTION: Lower Shay’s Revenge, Snowshoe Mountain, W.Va.What makes this intermediate-level run so great? Could it be that it sits on the backside of the resort, with its very own quad chair lift? Could it be the stunning view you get of western North Carolina mountains rolling along the horizon? Could it be that there’s a literal yellow brick road awaiting you on this magical cruise through Oz? The answer is yes. And then some.IMG_1629_FIXBeech Mountain’s terrain park regularly updates features so you can slide and grind every weekend and never get bored.Terrain ParkBeech Mountain, N.C.RUNNER UP: Appalachian Ski Mountain, N.C.HONORABLE MENTION: Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Penn.Stay mellow  with Beech’s Meadows Freestyle Terrain beginner-friendly boxes and rails or step it up with the more advanced jumps and kickers of Powder Bowl Freestyle Terrain. Powder pending, you can even link the two terrain parks together to make one helluva freestyle ride down the mountain.SUP SpotJames River, Richmond, Va.RUNNER UP: Summersville Lake, W.Va.HONORABLE MENTION: New River, Va., N.C., and W.Va.With five SUP outfitters in and around Richmond, the James River is quickly becoming a hotbed for standup paddlers. Learn your strokes on the quiet stretches of the Upper, or cruise downstream past Reedy Creek to the class III+ whitewater that awaits. Or, maybe floating’s more your style, in which case, might I recommend one of the city’s plethora of SUP yoga classes?Fly Fishing River / CreekMossy Creek, Va.RUNNER UP: Davidson River, N.CHONORABLE MENTION: Watauga River, N.C. and Tenn.If not for the tough-to-catch, yet worth-the-sweat brown trout fishing, the picturesque farmland alone is worth a visit to Mossy Creek. Even the most experienced angler will meet his/her match on the banks of the Mossy, as no wading is permitted and the fish here are exceptionally observant. Yet for those with the skill, and the patience, tales of 25-inch brownie bites should be enough to stifle the frustration.Best FlatwaterSummersville Lake, W.Va.RUNNER UP: Smith Mountain Lake, Va.HONORABLE MENTION: Fontana Lake, N.C.Built by the Army Corps of Engineers in the mid-‘60s, Summersville Lake offers visitors over 60 miles of shoreline for exploring. The stunning rock formations that burst from the lake’s surface are popular among deep-water soloists while the habitats those same boulders create are ideal for small mouth and large mouth bass, channel catfish, crappie, bluegill, and walleye.Spot Along the Blue Ridge ParkwayGrandfather Mountain, N.C.RUNNER UP: Humpback Rocks, Va.HONORABLE MENTION: Craggy Gardens, N.C.Situated amid arguably the most iconic miles of North Carolina’s portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the views of Grandfather Mountain here are simply incomparable. Popular with leaf peepers during the autumn season, the curves of the Linn Cove Viaduct hug the mountainside and are truly emblematic of the spirit of the parkway. This is a must-do Sunday drive if you haven’t ventured yet.Experience breathtaking views of Grandfather Mountain along the Blue Ridge Parkway.Experience breathtaking views of Grandfather Mountain along the Blue Ridge Parkway.WaterfallCascade Falls, Pembroke, Va.RUNNER UP: Linville Falls, N.C.HONORABLE MENTION: Crabtree Falls, Va.Nestled in the Cascades Recreation Area of the Jefferson National Forest, this 69-foot waterfall is a gem year round. Hike the Upper and Lower Trail for a four-mile round trip outing that showcases not only the falls but also the moss-covered boulders, dense rhododendron thickets, and the crystal-clear waters of Little Stony Creek that make this area almost otherworldly.Wilderness AreaDolly Sods Wilderness,Davis, W.Va.RUNNER UP: Linville Gorge Wilderness, N.C.HONORABLE MENTION: Cranberry Wilderness, W.Va.Take one step onto the burly trails of Dolly Sods and you’ll know you’re somewhere special. The Sods consume over 17,000 acres of the Monongahela National Forest and feature ferns, spruce, and bogs typical of ecotypes found in southern Canada. The Sods are often muddy, cold, and wet, but if you can hold out for a break in the clouds, you may just witness the most spectacular sky of your life.Kid-Friendly Outdoor DestinationACE Adventure Resort, Minden, W.Va.RUNNER UP: Beech Mountain, N.C.HONORABLE MENTION: Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, N.C.At ACE Adventure Resort, families don’t have to fret about finding age-appropriate adventures for their young’uns. Be it a float down the Upper New or an onsite Kids Camp session at the ACE Adventure Lake, parents will find more than enough activities to keep the kids busy for an afternoon or week.Pet-Friendly Outdoor DestinationU.S. National Whitewater Center, Charlotte, N.C.RUNNER UP: RIVANNA TRAIL, VA.HONORABLE MENTION: (TIE) black balsam knob and bent creek experimental forestPlay for a day at the USNWC and bring Fido, too. The facility hosts over 20 miles of trail that weave along the Catawba River, and all of it is open to the enjoyment of your furry four-legged friends.Place for Outdoor Singles to LiveRoanoke, Va.RUNNER UP:  Asheville, N.C.HONORABLE MENTION: Charlottesville, Va.Though just two years ago, the Huffington Post listed Roanoke as one of the six best places to retire in the U.S., the city is undergoing a transformation. With in-town trails and greenway systems, vibrant farm-to-table and craft beer movements, not to mention a low cost of living, what young professional wouldn’t want to relocate to this mid-sized mountain town?Place to Engage in Illicit and Nefarious ActivitiesFayetteville, West VirginiaRUNNER UP: HomeHONORABLE MENTION: Asheville, N.C.On the surface, Fayetteville may appear like any summer rafting town, but dig a little deeper, and you may just find yourself walking under the New River Gorge bridge at night with a bellyful of PBRs from Charlie’s Pub. We call that character building.Place to Raise an Outdoor FamilyRoanoke, Va.RUNNER UP: Fayetteville, W.Va.HONORABLE MENTION: Brevard, N.C.Considering Virginia’s school systems  rank among the best in the U.S., it should come as no surprise that many are choosing to raise their families in the heart of the Old Dominion. What’s more, Roanoke’s big city amenities and small town feel make life in the Star City safe, convenient, and far from boring.Place to Play HookyNew River Gorge, W.Va.RUNNER UP: Pisgah National Forest, N.C.HONORABLE MENTION: Wintergreen Resort, Va.At least if anyone phones to question your “sickness” or that “appointment” you scheduled months ago, you probably won’t have enough service for the call to come through. When the winter blues have you down and out, keep an eye on Fayetteville’s forecast. The area is known to have bizarrely warm and sunny winter days.Luxury DestinationThe Greenbrier,White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.RUNNER UP: Biltmore Estate, N.C.HONORABLE MENTION: The Omni Grove Park Inn, N.C.The lavish halls and plush rooms of the historic Greenbrier are fit for royalty. Enjoy carriage rides and massages, golf rounds and poker games, all in the setting of West Virginia’s majestic mountainscape.State in the Southeast /Mid-Atlantic for Outdoor AdventureVirginiaRUNNER UP: West VirginiaHONORABLE MENTION: North CarolinaVirginia is for lovers…of adventure, that is. No matter the season, whatever the weather, Virginia literally has it all. Surf the beaches to the east, explore the swamps to the south, or boat, bike, and hike your way throughout the rugged mountains to the west.[divider]View Best Personalities by Clicking Page 2 Below[/divider][nextpage title=”Personalities”]PERSONALITIESAdventurer of the YearGordon WadsworthRUNNER UP: Heather “Anish” AndersonHONORABLE MENTION: Scott JurekWere you to meet 28-year-old Gordon “Quadsworth” tomorrow, with his trunks-for-calves and life-crushing quads, you might find it hard to believe that he didn’t come out of the womb on a singlespeed. In fact, Wadsworth barely rode at all until college, though he did dabble a little in racing during his last years of high school.JoseAndresVargas_RVC2015497_FIX“I was kind of a chubby kid, so I didn’t do that great at it,” says the now two-time National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Single Speed Champion.Wadsworth’s late-blooming cycling career started in 2010. Having just graduated college with a double major in economics and the classics, he made the dive into pursuing competitive cycling at the urging of Blue Ridge Cyclery in Charlottesville, Va.“They were the catalyst for when I started to buckle down. Having them fuel that fire was huge,” he says of the team at Blue Ridge Cyclery.Wadsworth went on to race 43 weekends that year up and down the East Coast, racking up enough results to earn his pro mountain bike license. In 2012, he put that economics major to use by picking up a part-time gig with Suntrust Bank, which afforded him the time and energy to put in 20-25 hours of training every week.Those long hours in the saddle paid off. In addition to earning the 2014 and 2015 NUE Single Speed Championship, Wadsworth’s racing resume is chock full of podium results—in 2015 alone he won the USA Cycling (USAC) Marathon Single Speed National Championship, first place single speed in Costa Rica at the Rincon de la Vieja Challenge 100, first place single speed at the Lumberjack 100 and Hampshire 100, and first place single speed and overall (only the third to do so in ultra endurance single speed history) at the Cohutta 100 in Georgia.While his racing repertoire continues to gain momentum, Wadsworth says his greatest accomplishment of 2015 wasn’t any one race or time. It was the change in mindset that occurred after friend and fellow single speed competitor AJ Linnel lost his life in a plane crash.“AJ reminded me that racing’s not worth much unless you’re really cherishing these experiences,” he says. “You can have results, you can have a resume that is better than all, but at the end of the day, what resonates with people and gives you the fuel to do more is that lust for life. It’s that attitude of adventure and excitement and friendship that sometimes produces the best results.”Wadsworth is now based in north Georgia where he lives with his wife Emily and their Schnauzer trail dog Pippy. When he’s not riding his bike, he’s thinking about riding his bike.Regional AthleteSteven ReinholdWaynesville, N.C.RUNNER UP: Sophie SpiedelHONORABLE MENTION: Michael WardianSteven Reinhold lives and breathes Appalachia. Having grown up at the base of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Reinhold acquired a fine taste for the outdoors and the adventures therein. He’s an ambassador for Big City Mountaineers, an organization that helps under-served urban youth through wilderness mentoring expeditions. As part of the brand’s Summit for Someone program, Reinhold has summited peaks across North America—Whitney, Shasta, Langley, Grand Teton—to raise money for the organization.Reinhold recently partnered with UCO, launching a #trashtag campaign, making this outdoor enthusiast message about the natural world clear: it’s more than just recreation.“The outdoors is where I find my center. I feel like the best version of myself while on an adventure. That’s why I keep going back and strive to help provide outdoor opportunities for others.”Outdoor LegendDavid Horton, Lynchburg, Va.RUNNER UP: Shane BenedictHONORABLE MENTION: Eric JacksonRevered throughout the ultra trail running community, David Horton is a master of pain. Amid a running career that spanned more than four decades and included well over 100 ultra starts (nearly 40 percent of those he won), Horton set speed records on the Appalachian Trail in 1991 and again on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2005. He also holds the third-fastest time for a transcontinental crossing, which he achieved in 1995.While Horton’s running days are mostly over, his involvement with the ultra community is not. Nowadays, his pride and joy are the annual races he organizes—the Holiday Lake 50K, Mountain Masochist 50-Miler, Promise Land 50K, and Hellgate 100K are considered some of the toughest in the region.“I still love directing the ultras,” Horton says. “I can’t imagine not directing [them].”At the core of this dedicated and steadfast relationship to running? For Horton, it’s quite simple.“I just love being in the woods and mountains, whether on foot or on a bike.”Most Inspiring Outdoor PersonPete Eshelman, Roanoke OutsideRUNNER UP: Nathan BurrellHONORABLE MENTION: Gil AdamsThough Pete Eshelman is largely known for his role in fostering outdoor opportunities in Roanoke over the last five years, his relationship with the natural world has been a lifelong one. Raised on the slopes of Canaan Valley and White Grass, Eshelman has teleskiied, snowboarded, kayaked, biked, and hiked his way across the country. For over a decade he led kids on outdoor excursions to Alaska, Panama, and Ecuador. Now, Eshelman’s position as Director of Roanoke Outside has allowed his love for getting others passionate about nature to come full-circle.Photo by Sam Dean/ Pete EshelmanPhoto by Sam Dean/ Pete Eshelman“My goal is to get more people…connected with the outdoors,” he says. “Nothing makes me more happy than seeing people connect with Mother Nature.”A.T. Thru-HikerHeather “Anish” AndersonRUNNER UP: Chris PeckhamHONORABLE MENTION: Kathryn HerndonAt 34 years old, Anish (or “The Ghost” as she is known on the trail) has logged more miles by foot than most of us will in a lifetime. A triple-crowner with the fastest-known times (FKTs) for unsupported thru-hikes of both the Pacific Crest Trail in 2013 (60 days, 17 hours, and 12 minutes) and the Appalachian Trail in 2015 (54 days, seven hours, and 48 minutes), her eyes hold a wisdom gained only through quiet battles with self-doubt and the relentless quest for purpose.A pace averaging more than 40 miles a day inherently lends itself to physical difficulties, like dehydration and hematuria. Yet, despite her intimacy with suffering, Anish also knows beauty, humility, and gratitude, especially for the small stuff.“One of the main things I love about the A.T. is how much wildlife there is,” she says. “There were so many beautiful moments—listening to owls, having bats brush my shoulders while swooping in to eat insects in my headlamp beam, seeing a black bear perched in an Ash tree, watching sunset from Tinker Cliffs.”When asked why hike?, specifically, why hike fast?, Anish had only this to say: “Because it’s what I was born to do. It [chasing the FKT] felt like the epitome of what I was meant to do in life.”Bike MechanicMike Palmeri, Cartecay River Bicycle Shop, Ga.RUNNER UP: Chris HeslinHONORABLE MENTION: Tim RichardsonPicture a 13-year-old kid from New York City. He’s six feet tall with an afro and a mustache. Though he’s one of five kids in a poor Italian family, their passion runs rich. That passion was bikes and that teenager was Mike Palmeri.The year was 1979. Palmeri had just raced his first BMX event and placed fifth. Only a few months later, he raced again, this time in the Schwinn Southeastern Championship in Powder Springs, Ga. A five-part competition, the championship brought the biggest names in BMX to the Southeast. To the surprise of many, Palmeri won every event. His performance, and humility, caught the eye of the Schwinn team. By the end of the year, Palmeri had signed a five-year contract to be part of the Schwinn Factory BMX Team.“My life was turned around from rags to riches,” Palmeri says. “I was travelling all over the world racing BMX, but it wasn’t just racing bikes. We had public appearances and research and development on all different types of products.”By 18 years old, Palmeri was a seasoned bike mechanic and rider. He took his love for riding to New York City, where he raced road bikes in Central Park to pay for his tuition at the Fashion Institute of Technology.“You know Project Runway? That’s kinda what I was doing,” says Palmeri, “but I was terrible at it.”In the 30 years since, Palmeri’s worked as a farmer, trained with (and been humbled by) Belgium’s most elite road racers, and served as a firefighter for 27 years. Amid all of that, he opened up a bike shop in his barn with $163. At the time, that was every penny he had to his name.“There was no lighting, no heat, nothing,” Palmeri remembers of the shop’s early days. “I just worked and [the bike shop] just started growing.”Now, six locations later, Cartecay Bike Shop sits at the core of the Mountain Bike Capital of Georgia in downtown Ellijay. These days, Palmeri, 49, spends less time in the shop and more time on the trails.“If I don’t ride, I get irritated. It brings out the best in people,” he says, adding, “unless you’re struggling up a mountain and you’re out of shape.”CoachChris HerndonRUNNER UP: Sonny DyerHONORABLE MENTION: Norm BlairFormer National Champion and World Cup competitor Coach Herndon’s approach to mountain bike training doesn’t just involve reading lines, interpreting terrain, and strengthening the body. As a cyclist for 26 years, 24 of which he spent racing, Herndon says athletes, more than anything, need to train their mental attitude.“At the high end of most sports, the athlete is [his] worst enemy. I was my own enemy when I raced and could talk myself into being slow quicker than anyone. Being able to identify with what the riders are going through and the thought process that causes these thoughts is incredibly valuable.”Herndon has served in the USA Team coaching position for USA Cycling since 2011 and continues to work with up and coming youth in the sport.Fly Fishing GuideColby TrowMossy Creek Fly FishingRUNNER UP: Kevin HowellHONORABLE MENTION: Forrest MarshallIn 2003, Colby and his brother Brian opened up Mossy Creek Fly Fishing as a business, sure, but more importantly, as a means to fuel their passion for fly fishing. For nearly two decades, Trow has spent every day of his life fishing. When he’s not on the river, he’s tying flies, a craft he’s maintained since the ripe age of 13. He’s fished throughout the Shenandoah Valley and beyond, to the Bahamas and Belize and back. If you’re looking for experience, this guide’s got plenty to go around.Climbing GuideSwis Stockton, Granite ArchesRUNNER UP: Joe MoerschbaecherHONORABLE MENTION: Stuart CowlesAs owner and guide for Granite Arches, Swis Stockton has the best of both worlds—not only does he climb for a living, but he also gets to introduce others to a way of life that has defined him since college. Stockton has climbed in Canada, South America, and all across the western United States, so it’s hard for him to pick a favorite crag.“They’re ultimately all near and dear,” he says, “but without being specific, the granite in North Carolina is the backbone of what I think of when I hear climbing in the Southeast.”Raft GuideLinc StallingsRUNNER UP: Shanna CromptonHONORABLE MENTION: Scott OliveFlorida born and bred, Linc Stallings has been pushing rubber in the Southeast for two decades. As a guide for Southeastern Expeditions on the Chattooga, Endless River Adventures on the Ocoee, and Adventures on the Gorge on the New and Gauley Rivers, Stallings says that the secret to being a badass raft guide isn’t in the jokes or the moves. It’s in the relationships he builds with not just his guests, but the river as well.“I’m humbled every day on the water by the river, my guides, and clients,” he says. “The river goddess is finicky. She kinda works hand in hand with karma,” which might explain why, in his second year of guiding, Stallings lost his board shorts to the river during a trip down the Upper Ocoee.Fortunately, Stallings was able to borrow a pair of Umbro shorts from his boatful of soccer girls, but not without shredding a piece of his dignity.“Once a client experiences the river with me…[t]hey are no longer a number in the masses,” he says. “They are friends and family, and I’ve got a big family.”Physical TherapistTracy-Lynn Schuster, Schuster Physical Therapy, N.C.RUNNER UP: Eric MagrumHONORABLE MENTION: Tyler BowersockIf there’s anything Tracy-Lynn Schuster loves more than trail running, paddleboarding, and mountain biking, it’s her job as a physical therapist.“It is a privilege to be invited into peoples’ lives, normally at a vulnerable time, and being able to help them get their function back,” she says. “Whether it is an athlete getting back to their sport or a farmer getting back to the field, I try to help them realize their full potential and assist them to reaching it.”When she’s not in the office, Schuster likes to frequent the Shut-In Trail and the New River for some one-on-one time with Ma Nature.Sports DoctorRobert Wilder, M.D., Chair, University of Virginia Physical Medicine and RehabilitationRUNNER UP: Jay Jansen, BLUE RIDGE BONE & JOINTHONORABLE MENTION: Aaron Vaughan, MOUNTAIN AREA HEALTH EDUCATION CENTERWhen we think of doctors, we normally see lab coats, stethoscopes, prescription pads. Though Dr. Wilder certainly dons the white coat from time to time, you’d need to toss in a pair of running shoes and a 20-year-old Rockhopper to get a more accurate portrait of this one-of-a-kind doc. An athlete himself, Dr. Wilder created the UVA Runners’ Clinic in 1998, modeled after a similar clinic he had founded in Dallas. For Wilder, the pairing of sports, especially running, and medicine just made sense—athletes need an athlete to understand the big picture of an injury.“The goal is not just to heal and mend,” Wilder says, “but also to get [athletes] back to their chosen activity and to get them back safely. It’s not just an understanding of a particular injury or illness but also the sport and how that injury will impact their level to participate.”Dr. Wilder has been practicing sports medicine for 22 years and says the number one cause of injuries he sees in athletes is overuse. He recommends making changes slowly to your routine to avoid injury.[divider]View Best Businesses by Clicking Page 3 Below[/divider][nextpage]BUSINESSESOutdoor Start-UpHikeMore Adventures, N.C.RUNNER UP: Yama Mountain GearHONORABLE MENTION: Blue Ridge Bicycle ToursFounded in 2014 by Curt Teague and Justin Costner, HikeMore Adventures was inspired by the pair’s weekly excursions into the western North Carolina backcountry.“We wanted to share our passion for the outdoors and to be able to show folks these wild places who normally wouldn’t have the confidence or opportunity to explore the wilderness on their own,” say the team. HikeMore offers everything from waterfall tours to fly-fishing and landscape photography classes.Adventure VehicleBicycleRUNNER UP: Subaru OutbackHONORABLE MENTION: Honda CRVCheaper than a car, faster than a pair of boots, the bicycle is yours (and our) number one choice for adventuring in the Blue Ridge. With hundreds of miles of gravel Forest Service roads, greenways, rails-to-trails, backcountry roads, and trails galore, we think everyone should ditch four wheels for two!App for the OutdoorsWaterfalls of Western North CarolinaRUNNER UP: StravaHONORABLE MENTION: (tie) ViewRanger GPS and AllTrailsFor just $2.99, you can have first-hand experiences, stunning photographs, and accurate trail descriptions for western North Carolina’s most scenic waterfalls right at your fingertips, thanks to nature photographer and app developer Todd Ransom.Farmers’ MarketCharlottesville City MarketRUNNER UP: Asheville City MarketHONORABLE MENTION: Harrisonburg Farmers’ MarketFruits, veggies, crafts, non-profits, homemade donuts. This farmers’ market is a one-stop shop, with over 100 vendors every Saturday.  You can easily spend an entire afternoon browsing the tents and stocking up for the week ahead.Outdoor JobRaft GuideRUNNER UP: Park RangerHONORABLE MENTION: Ski PatrolImagine if your 9-5 was playing around on whitewater, your desk a rubber raft, and your only required dress code was sandals and a PFD. Rough life, right?Zip LineThe Gorge, Saluda, N.C.RUNNER UP: Adventures on the GorgeHONORABLE MENTION: ACE Adventure ResortAs you fly above the Green River Gamelands, you might be able to hear the roaring of the Green River Gorge in the distance…unless that is, you’re screaming your face off. Dropping 1,100 vertical feet from start to finish, this zip line features not only hair-raising speed but also killer views of old growth forest, three monstrous rappels, and a sky bridge.Yoga StudioUttara Yoga, Roanoke, Va.RUNNER UP: Kula Yoga StudioHONORABLE MENTION: Wellness Yoga (Bristol)Find your center at Uttara Yoga, where balance and calming focus are integral components of the studio’s multitude of class offerings. While beginners may be satisfied with bhakti and hatha flow, more advanced yogis may look to the studio’s annual pilgrimages to spiritual hotbeds like Varanasi, India, and Tiber Valley, Italy.Ski ResortSnowshoe Mountain, W.Va.RUNNER UP: Beech MountainHONORABLE MENTION: Wintergreen ResortFor fresh pow in the South, look no further than West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain. Aside from well-maintained ski runs and facilities, the mountain’s high elevation makes it likely that the resort will get one good dumping (if not more) a year. In February of 2015, for example, Snowshoe got nine inches one Saturday, and 26 the next. Grab your skis and get ready. Old Man Winter is on his way.Climbing GymRiver Rock Climbing, Roanoke, Va.RUNNER UP: Brevard Rock GymHONORABLE MENTION: Peak ExperienCesInterested in learning the ropes but don’t know where to start? Thinking about embarking on a training regimen in the off-season? River Rock can help. The gym regularly hosts youth training programs in addition to a variety of skill-based clinics and competitions throughout the year.Outdoor HangoutParkway Brewing, Roanoke, Va.RUNNER UP: Devils BackboneHONORABLE MENTION: ACE Adventure ResortCelebrate craft beer, and the outdoor lifestyle, at Parkway Brewing. On a weekly basis, the brewery holds events that honor the personalities, history, and music of the Blue Ridge.Riverside PubWasena City Taproom, Roanoke, Va.RUNNER UP: The BywaterHONORABLE MENTION: Lost Paddle LoungeLocated just a short walk from the Roanoke River and Greenway, the Wasena City Taproom not only has a gourmet pub-style menu, but also 31 beers on tap.RestaurantSecret Sandwich Society (SSS), Fayetteville, W.Va.RUNNER UP: Stardust CaféHONORABLE MENTION: Pies and PintsLet’s face it. The secret is out. Anyone who has ventured to the small town of Fayetteville for a summer vacation has likely made a stop at the SSS for lunch or dinner. If you haven’t, do it now.“We don’t really follow fads,” says SSS co-founder Tashia Bailey, “we follow our taste buds. We try to create flavor combinations that are uncommon, but only if they work together,” like, for instance, roasted pork loin with peach jam and Swiss cheese (the Ulysses), or fried eggplant with cherry peppers and roasted garlic mayo (the Fillmore).Our mouths are watering, especially given the news of a new SSS location in Richmond opening in 2016.Blue Ridge BreweryDevils Backbone Brewing Company, Roseland, Va.RUNNER UP: Blue Mountain BreweryHONORABLE MENTION: Oskar BluesNothing says “Blue Ridge” like mountains, trails, and good beer. Fortunately, at the Devils Backbone basecamp, there is all of that, and then some. Run, ride, or walk the trails by day, and then hunker down at the brewery for a night of fine dining and delicious beer.Fly Fishing OutfitterHeadwaters Outfitters, Rosman, N.C.RUNNER UP: Mossy CreekHONORABLE MENTION: Curtis Wright OutfittersLearn the basics of fly fishing at Headwaters Outfitters, where experienced guides can teach you everything you need to know about casting techniques, fly choice, and reading North Carolina’s mountain streams.Climbing Guide CompanyPura Vida Adventures,Pisgah Forest, N.C.RUNNER UP: (tie) Seneca Rocks Guides and Fox Mountain GuidesSituated just outside of Brevard, N.C., at the base of Pisgah National Forest, Pura Vida is your go-to guiding company for excursions to Looking Glass Rock, Cedar Rock, and Pilot Rock. Learn to climb, or step up your game, with tips from the experienced staff at Pura Vida.Raft Guide CompanyACE Adventure Resort, Oak Hill, W.Va.RUNNER UP: Adventures on the GorgeHONORABLE MENTION: Riverside OutfittersFirst time on whitewater? Take a mild ride down the Upper New River. Want a little more action? Go wild on the New River Gorge, wilder on the Lower Gauley, and WILDEST on the Upper Gauley. Whatever your flavor, ACE has an adventure for you.Environmental OrganizationJames River Association (JRA), Richmond, Va.RUNNER UP: Southern Environmental Law CenterHONORABLE MENTION: MountainTrueDid you know that more than one-third of all Virginians rely on the James River and its tributaries for not just water but also recreation and commerce? The JRA is committed to protecting the James and educating its users on the importance of conserving this special waterway.OutfitterPura Vida Adventures, Brevard, N.C.RUNNER UP: Davidson River OutfittersHONORABLE MENTION: ACE Adventure ResortThru-hike the Art Loeb Trail, rappel down 70-foot waterfalls, or learn to kayak. Whatever adventure you want to bite off, Pura Vida can help you chew it. Owned and operated by Joe Moerschbaecher, Pura Vida is unique in that it was the first outfitter in the Southeast to offer canyoneering under the instruction of American Canyoneering Guide Association certified guides.Bike ShopBlue Ridge Cyclery, Charlottesville, Va.RUNNER UP: Sycamore CyclesHONORABLE MENTION: Hill & Holler Bike WorksNo matter your skill, stoke, or shred level, BRC has a team member who can help you achieve your personal goals. The bike shop is heavily involved in the regional biking scene and has served as one of the leading advocates for trail access in the area. Give them a shout for all of your biking needs!Running StoreCrozet Running, Crozet, Va.RUNNER UP: Fleet Feet Sports—RoanokeHONORABLE MENTION: Ragged Mountain RunningFounded by avid runners John and Michelle Anderson, Crozet Running aims not just to help runners stay geared and fueled, but also to get people outside and back to fitness, no matter the level of intensity.Outdoor ShopWalkabout Outfitters, Roanoke, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Va.RUNNER UP: Rockfish Gap OutfittersHONORABLE MENTION: Water Stone OutdoorsIf you’re looking for somewhere to get a hipster cotton tee with a motivational mountain quote etched across the front, keep on looking. At Walkabout Outfitters, quality is key. The knowledgeable staff at each of Walkabout’s locations can offer you tried and true advice on gear, trails, and all-things-outdoors.Outdoor Company to Work ForACE Adventure Resort, Oak Hill, W.Va.RUNNER UP: Hunter BanksHONORABLE MENTION: Beech Mountain Resort22165923423_105ace88f4_o_FIXYou’d be surprised how many people work behind the scenes of an adventure resort—video boaters, ropes course facilitators, kayak instructors, zip line tour guides, climbing guides, bus drivers, mountain bike mechanics, reservationists. Plus, what better way to end your day than by playing in the New River Gorge surrounding your “office,” if you can even call an adventure playground that.[divider]view best events by clicking page 4 below [/divider][nextpage]EVENTSCostumed Event(tie) SuperHero 5K, Asheville, N.C.Bring out the superhero in you and your entire family with this all-inclusive race. Fun for every age, this 5K course weaves throughout some of Asheville’s up-and-coming neighborhoods like the South Slope and River Arts District.(tie) Totally ‘80s Retro Weekend, Beech Mountain, N.C.The brighter your neon, the better! Whip out your best vintage ski gear and join fellow shredders on the mountain for a weekend of throwback music, vehicles, and an overall totally tubular snowsports experience.RUNNER UP: Flight of the Vampire 5K/10K @ Halloween Fest The brighter the neon the better at Beech Mountain Resort's Totally '80s Retro Weekend.The brighter the neon the better at Beech Mountain Resort’s Totally ’80s Retro Weekend.Toughest RaceBlue Ridge Marathon, Roanoke, Va.RUNNER UP: Barkley 100 Mile Ultra RunHONORABLE MENTION: Shenandoah Mountain 100There’s a reason they call this beast “America’s Toughest Road Marathon.” Start at 7:30 in the morning and huff and puff your way over 7,430 feet in elevation change. But don’t worry — the views make up for the sufferfest.Rowdiest FestGauley Fest, Summersville, W.Va.RUNNER UP: Mountain Music FestHONORABLE MENTION: Go FestHeld the third Saturday of every September, Gauley Fest is the largest annual fundraiser for the non-profit American Whitewater, so party, keg stand, and wet t-shirt-contest all weekend long in the name of river conservation and access!Blue Ridge FestivalGo Fest, Roanoke, Va.RUNNER UP: Mountain Music FestivalHONORABLE MENTION: The Festy ExperienceFor a jam-packed weekend of outdoor activities, demos, and live performances, head to The Star City in mid-October. This event is a must-do for any Blue Ridge lover, and with free bike shuttles and on-greenway access, there’s no excuse for you to not go outside and play.Mud RunMad Anthony Mud Run, Waynesboro, Va.RUNNER UP: Gritty Chicx Mud RaceHONORABLE MENTION: Spartan RaceHay bales and tire pits, wall climbs and balance beams, swamp terrain and tunnel crawls. Is this boot camp? Put your big girl panties on, ladies and gentleman. You’ll need to dig deep in this annual mud challenge.Adventure RaceWild Gear Chase, Roanoke, Va.RUNNER UP: Silverback, Green River GamesHONORABLE MENTION: (tie) Equinox Traverse Adventure Race, Rev3 Adventure Shenandoah Epic, and Spartan RacePart navigation, part time trial, this treasure hunt takes you everywhere within a two-mile radius of the Roanoke Go Outside Festival grounds. Race the clock to win free gear!TriathlonCaptain Thurmond’s Challenge, New River Gorge, W.Va.RUNNER UP: On the Trails TriathlonHONORABLE MENTION: Lake Logan TriathlonA triathlon unlike any in the region, this longstanding multisport event showcases the classic trails and whitewater of the New River Gorge. Bike for 15 miles to the put-in of the Lower New, paddle seven miles through the gorge, and run six-and-a-half miles up 1,100 feet back to Fayetteville.Climbing EventCosmic Climbing, Adrenaline Climbing, Suwanee, Ga.RUNNER UP: Craggin’ ClassicHONORABLE MENTION: Dominion RiverrockHeld every Friday night from 8-10 p.m., Adrenaline Climbing shuts off its lights and pumps up the jams. Routes and boulder problems are backlit in funky-fluorescence, making for an out-of-this-world climbing experience you won’t want to miss.Paddling EventGreen Race, Saluda, N.C.RUNNER UP: The Animal, Gauley FestHONORABLE MENTION: Bridge to Bridge, Green River GamesIt’s a gem and a beast of a race all at the same time, held the first Saturday of November each year. Over 200 paddlers flock to the Green River Gorge to test their mettle and spank the monkey (or, as it sometimes goes, get spanked). Join the thousands who hike or boat into the gorge to witness this impressive feat of part-whitewater athleticism, part-carnage fest.Bike RacePisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race (PMBAR), Pisgah Forest, N.C.RUNNER UP: Tour de ValleyHONORABLE MENTION: Assault on the CarolinasTwo riders, four checkpoints, and somewhere between 9,000 and 15,000 feet of climbing. Beautiful, yet rugged, this course showcases the best of Pisgah but be forewarned: there are no aid stations along the way. Prepare to suffer…and have fun.Running EventBlue Ridge Marathon, Roanoke, Va.RUNNER UP: Asheville Half Marathon/10KHONORABLE MENTION: Blue Ridge RelayBeginning and ending in downtown Roanoke, this marathon is a force to be reckoned with. Physical endurance aside, you’ll want a good attitude for the many burly climbs that await, including the ascent to Roanoke Mountain, which takes racers up 780 feet in just two miles.[divider]Read About Best Food and Drink Establishments by Clicking Page 5 below[/divider][nextpage]FOOD & DRINKBackbone Brewing Company, Roseland, Va.RUNNER UP: Texas TavernHONORABLE MENTION: Asheville Pizza and Brewing CompanyTaste the best of field, forest, and stream at Devils Backbone’s Basecamp Brewpub & Meadows. Executive Chef Frank Debons knows how to whip up a mean late-night snack.Brewhouse / PubIrish Pub on Washington Street, Lewisburg, W.Va.RUNNER UP: Appalachian Mountain BreweryHONORABLE MENTION: Catawba Brewing CompanyWeekly Irish tunes, traditional hearty meals, and cold draft beer. What more do you need? How about $1 Bloody Marys every Sunday at 1pm?Post-Adventure HangoutDevils Backbone Brewing Company, Roseland, Va.RUNNER UP: The HubHONORABLE MENTION: Catawba Brewing CompanyGrab a beer and cozy up by the bar, or grab a chair around the newly revamped outdoor space. Just a short drive from some of the area’s most iconic hikes, Devils Backbone is a perfect place to end your adventure-filled day.BreakfastVandal’s Kitchen, Fayetteville, W.Va.RUNNER UP: Cathedral CaféHONORABLE MENTION: Sunny Point CaféIt’s hard to be unhappy when you’re eating homemade biscuits. For a homestyle, hearty breakfast, Vandal’s got you covered.LunchSecret Sandwich Society, Fayetteville, W.Va.RUNNER UP: Devils Backbone Brewing CompanyHONORABLE MENTION: Stardust CaféThe only danger in eating lunch at the SSS is you may get so full on orzo salad and salted caramel chocolate tart that you decide to play hooky for the rest of the day. And by play hooky, we mean nap off your food-coma.Order up! The Secret Sandwich Society offers more than just gourmet sandwiches. Pictured here: The General burger.Order up! The Secret Sandwich Society offers more than just gourmet sandwiches. Pictured here: The General burger.Coffee ShopThe Wild Bean, Lewisburg, W.Va.RUNNER UP: Sweet DonkeyHONORABLE MENTION: Cathedral CaféAt The Bean, good coffee and good company are the pillars of success. Check out the vibe at this West Virginia coffee shop, which serves breakfast and lunch in addition to a top-notch coffee collection.VegetarianLaughing Seed Café, Asheville, N.C.RUNNER UP: Gillie’sHONORABLE MENTION: Hob Knob Farm CaféOrganic, local, farm-to-table, gourmet vegetarian food with an international twist. The tempura-battered sweet potato tacos are unreal.Farm-to-TableStardust Cafe, Lewisburg, W.Va.RUNNER UP: The LocalHONORABLE MENTION: Harvest TableFor over a decade, Stardust Cafe has been committed to sourcing locally. The restaurant’s beef, pork, and lamb are within 10 miles of the kitchen, and the vegetable, fruit, and herb farmers are just two counties away.VineyardChateau Morrisette, Floyd, Va.RUNNER UP: King FamilyHONORABLE MENTION: (tie) Barboursville and VeritasLocated at milepost 171.5 along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a visit to Chateau Morrisette isn’t just spectacular for its wine. The surrounding views of the New River Valley and Buffalo Mountain make this vineyard a unique destination that embodies everything we love about the Blue Ridge.Blue Ridge BrewVienna Lager, Devils Backbone Brewing CompanyRUNNER UP: Mothman IPA, Greenbrier ValleyHONORABLE MENTION: Full Nelson Pale Ale, Blue Mountain BrewerySmooth, malty, amber-chestnut goodness packed into a deliciously drinkable lager. It’s no wonder this beer won gold at the Great American Beer Festival in 2015.Ice CreamKline’s Dairy Bar, Staunton, Waynesboro, Harrisonburg, Va.RUNNER UP: The HopHONORABLE MENTION: ChapsEstablished in 1943 by John Kline, the dairy bar serves up ice cream that is nothing short of divine. With seasonal flavors, and ice cream made in-house daily, you’re guaranteed to have a one-of-a-kind ice cream experience at Kline’s.BurritoBurrito Bar, Lansing, W.Va.RUNNER UP: Del Sol CantinaHONORABLE MENTION: Neo BurritoA paddler’s paradise, this burrito joint names its burritos after the best rapids on the Upper Gauley! Affordable prices, large portions, and incredible sunset views of the New River Gorge, make this a popular post-paddle stop in the summertime.BurgerJim’s Drive-In, Lewisburg, W.Va.RUNNER UP: Secret Sandwich SocietyHONORABLE MENTION: Jack Brown’s Burger JointServing road-bound Americans since the early ‘50s, this drive-in style restaurant still does the old fashion curbside service deal, which, come on, how cool is that. Get your hot dog cravings and onion ring fixings all from the comfort of your car.BarbecueDevils Backbone, Nelson County, Va.RUNNER UP: 12 Bones Smokehouse HONORABLE MENTION: (tie) BBQ Exchange and Paulie’s Pig OutDevils Backbone offers baby back ribs and a pulled pork sandwich smothered in its homemade barbecue sauce. It’s a mouth-watering finish to a day of adventure.(Editor’s Note: 12 Bones Smokehouse was incorrectly listed as the overall winner in print. We apologize for the error.)PizzaFarm to Flame Food Truck, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Boone, N.C.RUNNER UP: Hill & Holler RestaurantHONORABLE MENTION: Pies & PintsThe wood-fired pizza at Farm to Flame doesn’t just taste great—it makes you feel great about your environmental impact. The food truck itself runs on biodiesel and solar panels, and the eating utensils and containers completely decompose within 50 days!last_img read more

See More

Lucky No. 13 sets new record on Tequila Street

first_imgThe home at 13 Tequila St, Kippa-Ring.Ms Fenton said the home attracted a mix of local owner-occupiers and investors. The successful buyer will be both. “His short-term plan is to put a tenant in and his long-term plan is to shift up here,” Ms Fenton said. The local agent said the Kippa-Ring market was performing well. “The new infrastructure, particularly the train station, has really put Kippa-Ring on the map,” she said. “It’s also the next affordable option for buyers who can’t get into Redcliffe or Scarborough. You get a lot for your money in Kippa-Ring.” The home at 13 Tequila St, Kippa-RingA THREE-BEDROOM brick and tile home has set a new street record after selling in Kippa-Ring. The property at 13 Tequila St sold for $527,000 to an interstate buyer. Marketing agent Johanne Fenton of One Agency Redcliffe said the home went under contract within 10 days of hitting the market. “We had a lot of buyers through. That lowset brick and tile home seems to be most in demand at the moment,” she said. More from newsLand grab sees 12 Sandstone Lakes homesites sell in a week21 Jun 2020Tropical haven walking distance from the surf9 Oct 2019“The property was also in a quiet street opposite a park and people could move in without any extra major expense.”last_img read more

See More

Backyard nature reserve could be yours

first_imgPeaceful surrounds backing on to the golf course.But mum and grandma have also moved to Australia, and with a young family of their own, the home they built three years ago no longer meets their needs, so 3 Black Teak Court is now for sale, inviting offers over $899,000.VIDEO: “It took us six months to build but we had been working on the plans for four years,” she said. The ensuite with views from the bathtub.The family spend most of their time in the large family and meals space at the back of the lower level with sliding doors that open out to the undercover patio and pool area.MORE: All I want for Christmas is a buyer SEE WHAT ELSE IS FOR SALE IN BROOKWATER An impressive house on a 1296sq m block at 3 Black Teak Court, Brookwater.EDRA McKean can sleep through an earthquake, and used to regularly in her California home.Her husband was not so fortunate.“He is an Aussie and he would wake up all the time,” she said.Moving to Australia 10 years ago, both Edra and Martyn McKean are now sleeping well, helped by the tranquil setting of their Brookwater home. More from newsDigital inspection tool proves a property boon for REA website3 Apr 2020The Camira homestead where kids roamed free28 May 2019“We looked at 30-40 different homes, picking out the things we liked.“Then we worked with the architect to come up with the layout and he suggested about the flow, where the bathrooms were going to be located.“It was our first build and it was pretty difficult, pretty stressful, it’s all riding on you.”The result is a house with generous storage, glass panels that open stairwell cavities, and windows positioned to take advantage of the bush setting. The kitchen has plumbed in water for the fridge and both TV rooms have integrated speakers.“We back on to the nature reserve and from our master bedroom we have corner windows so we have a (180 degree) view of the bush,” she said.Views are a theme in this two-storey build.“Why have a bath if you can’t have a good view? “We have a spa bath window and you can sit in the bath, put the jets on and look out.”last_img read more

See More

Redknapp: Rio leads by example

first_imgRio Ferdinand does not need the captain’s armband to spearhead QPR’s Barclays Premier League survival fight, according to Harry Redknapp. Hull boss Steve Bruce is determined not to set the bar too high for his side this season but is targeting an improvement on last term’s 16th-place finish and a run to the FA Cup final and Europe. He said: “We’ve done fantastically well over the last couple of years. We’ve never been here (in the Premier League) for two years so that is the challenge. “In my experience the second season is always the most difficult because the expectation has risen a bit. “We’ve brought in four or five players to strengthen the squad. The man thing is for the club to stay in the Premier League and that’s what we’ve got to do. “Everybody expects us to be better than we were last year and if we can manage it that would great.” Bruce expects a tough opener at Loftus Road against Redknapp’s men who will be aiming to copy the Tigers’ own survival masterplan in their first season back in the top flight. And despite predictions the London outfit could struggle, the Hull boss is particularly wary of the threat posed by striker Loic Remy, provided the Rs are able to keep hold of him in the remainder of the transfer window. “Harry has managed to hang onto Loic Remy which I believe is key for them,” added Bruce. “He’s a very good striker and no disrespect to QPR, but he is arguably the best player in the bottom half of the division with the talents he’s got.” Clint Hill remains Rangers’ official club skipper, but Ferdinand is favourite to lead the side on the field in the former Crystal Palace defender’s absence. The pairing of Ferdinand and Steven Caulker in QPR’s new-look back three could limit Hill’s starting chances this term. Redknapp said he will review the on-field captaincy on a weekly basis any time Hill does not secure a starting berth. Press Association “I haven’t really looked at a vice-captain, I’m not one that gets that bothered about it,” said Redknapp ahead of Saturday’s league opener against Hull. “Making Rio captain, would it make him any different? Not really. He would talk and boss people just the same. “I haven’t spoken to anyone, I haven’t spoken to Clint, but we’ll probably take it as it comes each week, depending on who’s in the team. “It can change. Rio’s had a fantastic impact, he’s just class around the place. “He just oozes class, he’s a top player and you can’t replace that. He’s been there and done it all, he’s won everything there is to win, so we’re just delighted to have him here. “He’ll definitely be a big influence on Steven (Caulker), I think he’ll be a big influence on all the players. “They look at how he trains, how he works: every day he comes in, works hard, lives his life right, he’s always at the front of what we’re doing in training and he’s in great condition. “He’s a model professional.” last_img read more

See More

Nigeria, Cameroon Go to War in Yaounde

first_imgSoccer Football – Africa Cup of Nations 2019 – Round of 16 – Nigeria v Cameroon – Alexandria Stadium, Alexandria, Egypt – July 6, 2019 Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo in action with Cameroon’s Michael Ngadeu REUTERS/Suhaib Salem VOLLEYBALL OLYMPIC QUALIFIERNigeria women’s volleyball team will face Cameroon today at 7pm in a 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games qualifiers in Yaoundé, Cameroon.The Head Coach of the Nigeria senior women’s volleyball team, Samuel Ajayi, said his wards will go all out when the two teams meet. Ajayi said Nigeria is in a tough group but believes that the country can make it to Tokyo 2020 Olympics.“We are no doubt in the toughest group, but for me we must remain positive and believe we can make it to Japan,” the head coach said.“We all know that Kenya and Cameroon have a lot of quality players in their team and since everybody wants to be at the Olympics, they will be difficult opponents no doubt,” he added.Coach Ajayi, who warned that Botswana cannot be underrated either, also posited that for Nigeria to actualize her dream of making her first ever appearance in Japan, all hands must be on the deck as the coaches, players and officials must all be ready to give their all to this mission.He said, “It is a collective task. We have to recognise the fact that we have good players in our team and we must be ready to give our all.“You don’t expect any easy game at this level and we must work hard to ensure we scale through at the end of the day.”Nigeria will battle North African, Egypt on Tuesday by 4pm before slugging it out with Botswana on Wednesday by 4pm.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

See More

New website promotes good teaching

first_imgIn an effort to recognize the importance of teaching, the Rossier School of Education partnered with 2tor, Inc — a company that provides online education along with universities — to create an innovative platform to show appreciation for teachers, using new media.The website, “My Teacher, My Hero,” was launched in conjunction with the Rossier’s new Masters of Arts in Teaching online course, [email protected] The website allows people to upload videos of themselves thanking their teachers and emphasizing the importance of the profession.“[It] shows people who are considering becoming teachers how important and impactful the profession is,” said Margo Pensavalle, associate professor of clinical education.The purpose of My Teacher, My Hero is two-fold, said Jeremy Johnson, 2tor chief technology officer. The site is run by [email protected] and 2tor and is a vehicle to promote the new program and show interested applicants how to receive more information.The site hopes to “help raise the status of teachers in our society” by hosting numerous videos from “leaders in film, entertainment, and politics that are speaking about how their teachers impacted their lives,” Johnson said.Contributors who have already uploaded video to the site include Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, musician Sean Paul, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and president of HBO Entertainment Sue Naegle.The creators of My Teacher, My Hero are hoping to get site visits from students, teachers and young children alike. The site will recognize teachers and show that people appreciate what they contribute. Johnson also wants parents and young children who visit the site to see the incredible impact teachers have on society.They want to “show people that being a teacher is a rich [and] rewarding profession” and prospective teachers “should not feel as though others will not respect them,” Johnson said.2tor chose to use video as a mechanism to recognize teachers because “video allows you to touch and feel something a little more acutely and be a little more involved,” according to Johnson.The video submission process is user friendly, and social media tools make it simpler to share video. 2tor set up links to Facebook, Twitter and an email form to “make [uploading a video] easiest as possible.”The onus is on the video submitter to share the video with the public and email it to their teacher, if they so choose, Johnson said.USC students recognized the value of demonstrating appreciation for great teaching, but there were mixed opinions on whether they would actually upload videos.“I’ve had good teachers, but not enough to put a video online,” said Jayson Kellogg, a sophomore majoring in philosophy.Freshman Ann Jankowski, however, said she would upload a video for her favorite teacher in high school that wasn’t liked by many other students.“I adored her and I want to show her that people care and she deserves to be acknowledged,” Jankowski, a theatre major, said.last_img read more

See More