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Mountain Mama: A Paddler’s Journey

first_imgBooks fall into one of two categories for me. When my three-year old falls asleep sprawled across my lap on a cross-country flight most books remain tucked in my carry-on that’s stowed under the seat. Only certain books beckon to be read in such a way that I risk waking up my little guy to retrieve them and then proceed to plow through  cover-to-cover before the plane lands. On a recent flight from North Carolina to California, Bryant Burkhardt’s memoir, A Paddler’s Journey: Adventures on the water and wisdom gained along the way, proved to be one of those risk-wake-sleeping-toddler-one-hour-into-flight reads.Bryant Burkhardt is a badass kayaker by all accounts –- he’s instructed instructors how to teach paddling, he was a member on the Olympic polo team, he’s an accomplished expedition-style sea kayaker, and he’s paddled the whitewater gnar. To get there, he’s sacrificed a mainstream career path. He takes readers on a sometimes humorous, sometimes white-knuckling ride down rivers and through ocean waves. He makes his tales accessible to non-paddlers, while still making sure that diehard kayakers aren’t eddied out by long explanations or definitions.Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 9.57.30 AMWhile I found Bryant’s kayaking anecdotes amusing, my favorite aspect of his writing is the way he squares up to uncomfortable questions even when he doesn’t have the answers, like the emptiness he felt with the opportunity to embrace the paddler’s dream of fun-employment and spend his days paddling.  Bryant’s willingness to talk about his loneliness coming home to an empty house and having nobody to share his adventures takes a rare type of courage too rarely displayed by adrenalin sport seekers – vulnerability. At the same time, he grapples with his need to push himself and experience the ups and downs of living a full life. He ends with the most insightful and true realization. “Kayaking is part of who I am.”Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 9.57.02 AMBryant signed a copy of his book for me. He wrote, “One of these days we’ll have to get on a river together.” Indeed, I hope we will.  If it goes like most paddling encounters, it’ll be when we least expect it, at the take-out or while scouting one of us will call out to the other and we’ll hug and have a good laugh, as if we’re old friends. Although we’ve never met, we have so much in common, the deep and abiding love for kayaking.For paddlers looking for a good read or those intrigued about the sport, A Paddler’s Journey: Adventures on the water and wisdom gained along the way, is available at Bryant’s website, http://www.bryantburkhardtkayaking.com.last_img read more

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$3.9 billion state spending reallocated for COVID-19 response: Sri Mulyani

first_imgSri Mulyani asked ministries to delay big-check spending to allow more room for fiscal intervention in light of uncertainties surrounding the pandemic this year. The Finance Ministry will move quickly to facilitate other ministries’ spending priorities, she added.“This will provide us with fiscal space for health care and protect the public and businesspeople.”Indonesia had 369 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 32 deaths as of Friday. Globally, the pneumonia-like illness has infected over 240,000 people and claimed at least 10,000 lives.The government has previously announced two rounds of stimulus packages including a package worth Rp 22.9 trillion, which includes individual and corporate tax breaks. The first package, worth Rp 10.3 trillion announced on Feb. 25, provides staple needs and mortgage subsidies for low-income families and fiscal incentives for travel-related businesses.Highlights of state spending reallocation announced Friday:Incentives worth Rp 3.9 trillion for tourism as a part of the first stimulus package will be adjusted by the government to respond to the fast-changing pandemic conditions.The government will increase the number of those receiving the Family Hope program (PKH) from 10 million families to 15 million families with the same benefits, aiming to provide a social safety net for up to 70 million individuals.A total of Rp 10 trillion funds for the newly launched pre-employment card program.Health care will receive additional Rp 6.1 trillion for insurance and compensation for medical workers including doctors and nurses.The government has pledged to evaluate Rp 3.3 trillion requested by National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) to step up fight against the pandemic.The government will redesign the disbursement of Rp 72 trillion in village funds this year. The government will reallocate Rp 62.3 trillion (US$3.9 billion) of state spending from the 2020 budget to tackle COVID-19, focusing on health care, the disbursement of social funds and financial incentives for enterprises.The sum was a significant increase from previous estimates of Rp 27 trillion budget reallocation on top of the Rp 120 trillion allocation for stimulus packages as the government mulls over worst-case scenarios including the possibility of zero percent economic growth, ministers said.“We identified around Rp 62.3 trillion of planned spending that can be re-allocated to priority areas put forward by the President. This includes funding for business trips, blocked funds and non-operational purchase of goods, among other items,” Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati told a teleconferenced media briefing on Friday. “We will adjust the budget to the three priority areas, including the procurement of medical devices and hospital needs such as the preparation of Wisma Atlet [athletes’ village in Jakarta] and hospital construction in Galangan Island for COVID-19.”Read also: Jokowi urges ministers to focus budget on health care, social aid, economic stimuliSri Mulyani referred to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s directive for state spending to prioritize health care, disbursement of social funds and financial incentives for enterprises to cushion the negative economic impact of the novel coronavirus.The government’s baseline scenario was for Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow above 4 percent this year, Sri Mulyani said. Meanwhile, under the assumption that the pandemic lasts for six months, global trade slumps by 30 percent and the country goes into lockdown, economic growth could fall to as low as zero to 2.5 percent, she added.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Subdued atmosphere grips new La Liga season

first_imgAfter a brief yet turbulent close-season marked by the attempted departure of Lionel Messi, little transfer activity and the renewed threat of the coronavirus in Spain, La Liga returns on Friday with a decidedly gloomy outlook.Fans are not expected to return to Spanish stadiums until 2021 at the earliest as infection rates continue to rise across the country, depriving the game of the noise and color for which it is renowned.There is also a subdued feeling as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla are among six teams missing the opening weekend due to finishing last season late, with the latter three sides also missing the second weekend. Old tensions have resurfaced at institutional level, meanwhile, creating yet more uncertainty.The federation delayed the release of fixtures and this week threatened to block the first match of the season between Granada and Athletic Bilbao due to a ban on Friday matches, although La Liga are certain the game will go ahead.The financial impact of the pandemic, meanwhile, is being keenly felt across the league, even afflicting the wealthiest clubs.Champions Real Madrid, who usually spend their summers parading big money signings at glitzy presentation ceremonies, are not expected to bring in anyone new. Instead they are focusing on recalling loanees such as Martin Odegaard while clearing out unwanted players. Topics :center_img Still, Zinedine Zidane’s side are the favorites to lift the title after last season’s relentless run of 10 straight victories and given the turmoil at Barcelona.Barca may have clung on to Messi after a two-week saga but are still in deep trouble on a sporting, institutional and financial level.President Josep Maria Bartomeu is threatened by a potential vote of no-confidence, while the club are trying to ease a colossal wage bill, shown by their willingness to part with Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal for cut-price deals.New coach Ronald Koeman, a beloved former Barca player but with a patchy record as a club manager, faces a daunting task in reshaping an ageing side whose weaknesses were woefully exposed by the 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.Unlike predecessors Ernesto Valverde and Quique Setien, the Dutchman will look to impose his authority on a dressing room that many believe has had too much power for too long and it will be fascinating to see how he gels with the players.Hope for Barca comes in excitement around teenage forward Ansu Fati, who recently became Spain’s youngest goalscorer and had a highly promising debut campaign.Sevilla, Villarreal out to challenge AtlánticoAtletico Madrid are used to being Spain’s third force but face competition from Sevilla, who could even challenge the usual suspects in the title race if they build on an excellent season in which they finished fourth and won the Europa League.Sevilla have crucially held together most of their squad after getting accustomed to parting with 10 or more players each summer.Villarreal are also one to watch after recruiting Unai Emery as coach and making some eye-catching signings including midfielders Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin from Valencia plus exciting playmaker Takefusa Kubo, on loan from Real Madrid.Valencia are braced for a testing season after parting with captain Parejo plus Spain forward Rodrigo due to a dire financial situation which meant they were unable to pay their players.Elsewhere, David Silva is back in La Liga for the first time in a decade after joining Real Sociedad, while much-loved Cadiz make a welcome return to the top-flight after a 14-year absence, joining Huesca and Elche in being promoted.last_img read more

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Whicker: Blake Griffin injury has Clippers holding their breath after win

first_imgPreviousLos Angeles Lakers’ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, front, drives past Los Angeles Clippers’ C.J. Williams during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Clippers 120-115. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Clippers forward Blake Griffin grimaces in pain after teammate Austin Rivers landed on his left leg during the second half of Monday’s game against the Lakers at Staples Center. The Clippers won 120-115 but must wait for further evaluation on Griffin’s knee. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan dunks as Los Angeles Lakers’ Brook Lopez looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball, left, pressures Los Angeles Clippers’ Austin Rivers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin, right, and Los Angeles Lakers’ Larry Nance Jr. react after a jump ball was called during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)The Clippers’ Lou Williams, left, drives to the basket under pressure by Los Angeles Lakers’ Julius Randle during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Austin Rivers, bottom, gets his shot blocked by Los Angeles Lakers’ Julius Randle during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Austin Rivers, left, shoots for three points under pressure by Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin, center, grabs a loose ball against Los Angeles Lakers’ Larry Nance Jr., left, and Brook Lopez during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball, top, passes the ball under pressure by Los Angeles Clippers’ Austin Rivers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Lakers’ Brandon Ingram fouls Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson, center, passes the ball under pressure by Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin, left, and Wesley Johnson during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton, center, reacts to a play during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Clippers 120-115. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Lou Williams, center, puts up a shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Clippers 120-115. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton, left, and Lonzo Ball watch action during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Clippers 120-115. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin dunks during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Clippers 120-115. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Lou Williams, right, puts up a shot against Los Angeles Lakers’ Larry Nance Jr. during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Clippers 120-115. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Jawun Evans, front, and Los Angeles Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson look at a loose ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Clippers 120-115. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Lou Williams, center, drives to the basket as Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball, from left, Larry Nance Jr., Brook Lopez watch during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Lou Williams reacts after making a basket against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Austin Rivers, center, is shoved by Blake Griffin after making a basket against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Clippers 120-115. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Lakers’ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, front, drives past Los Angeles Clippers’ C.J. Williams during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Clippers 120-115. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Clippers forward Blake Griffin grimaces in pain after teammate Austin Rivers landed on his left leg during the second half of Monday’s game against the Lakers at Staples Center. The Clippers won 120-115 but must wait for further evaluation on Griffin’s knee. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)NextShow Caption1 of 21Clippers forward Blake Griffin grimaces in pain after teammate Austin Rivers landed on his left leg during the second half of Monday’s game against the Lakers at Staples Center. The Clippers won 120-115 but must wait for further evaluation on Griffin’s knee. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)ExpandLOS ANGELES — Austin Rivers was the first responder.He was the one who was knocked into Blake Griffin, landed on his left knee, heard him scream.He talked to Griffin in the Clippers’ locker room, although Griffin wasn’t in the mood to converse.“He’s down,” Rivers said. “It’s like oh, no, not again.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThat is taken in an individual and team sense. Griffin’s biggest NBA obstacles are the muscles and ligaments that threaten to burst through the skin, yet can’t weather 82 games, not the way he attacks them.The Clippers have already lost three of the top players they meant to use to fill the empty locker of Chris Paul.Griffin left the locker room without comment Monday night.“I think it’s hyperextended,” Rivers said, speaking of Griffin’s knee. ‘“I hope it’s hyperextended. I hope that’s all it is, because if it is, he might miss a game or two. I hope it’s not worse. That’s the last thing we need, missing that guy.”The first things they need are victories, and the Clippers still got one Monday, a vastly entertaining 120-115 win over a Lakers squad that will wonder how it got away.center_img The Clippers were up 112-110 with 3:53 left when Griffin came to the bench and then disappeared into the wings. They still won, possibly because the Lakers launched a cascade of bad shots, possibly because there are nights when there is no bad shot if it comes off the fingertips of Lou Williams.Williams was with the Lakers for much of last season, so there were no secrets here. He bombarded them with 42 points, hit all 14 of his free-throw attempts and all seven in the fourth quarter, and went 12 for 21 from the field. He and Austin Rivers combined to go 19 for 37 for 61 points. All were needed against a Lakers team that pounded the Clips with second-chance points and bench production.“I used to guard him,” Austin Rivers said. “Don’t let him go left. I don’t know why teams do it, but they do. He shoots this fading shot and you can’t block it. But tonight he went right, too. He threw down that one dunk, over Josh Hart, and they had to take him (Hart) out of the game right then. He’s more athletic than you think.“He’s a lot like Jamal Crawford was last year, where he can just go off at any time and there’s nothing you can do about it. Jamal was a little more of a finesse guy. He’d shoot more 3-pointers. He also played with the ball a little more. With Lou, he gets it and he’s either going to the basket or passing or shooting. There’s no hesitation.”With guard Patrick Beverley out for the season, Williams’ chances of winning the Sixth Man Award have diminished. “We have to start him now,” Coach Doc Rivers said.Williams has played 37, 36 and 37 minutes in his three starts. Conservation is not in the cards until the fallen Clippers begin returning to the perimeter, such as Danilo Gallinari and Milos Teodosic. The Clipper bench provided only 20 points on Monday.Unfettered scorers are part of NBA lore. It’s not selfishness if you keep making the shots. Philadelphia had World B. Free and Andrew Toney, both known as the Boston Strangler for the carefree way they pounded jump shots in Boston Garden. There was Vinnie Johnson, the Microwave. James Harden was a killer sixth man when he played for Oklahoma City. And there was the afternoon in 1987 when Golden State’s Sleepy Floyd fired all his guns at once and laid 29 fourth-quarter points on the Lakers in a playoff game, 51 in all.It’s even more special these days, with the single-spaced defensive scouting reports designed to prevent that very thing. But guys like Williams can still turn nine other players into bystanders.Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was trying to match Williams, bomb for bomb, through most of the game, but it took him 28 shots to get his 29 points. Jordan Clarkson, the new bench force for the Lakers, led a comeback with 17 points, but there was too much heave-and-hope shooting at the end for the Lakers to keep up.At least they aren’t dreading the next MRI.“I fell on him and I felt his knee, I felt it,” Austin Rivers said, shaking his head.As for Doc Rivers, he shrugged and said, “He might be all right. He might not.” Tuesday will clear that up for a coach who never thought he’d be praying to hear “day-to-day.”last_img read more

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Hybrid or SUV? Think taxes

first_imgNew tax breaks are available to small-business owners and others who want to help the environment by purchasing fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles. But if those business people really want to save money, bigger tax breaks come with buying the largest gas-guzzling SUVs. The disparity has drawn criticism from the Republican chairman of the Senate’s tax-writing committee and environmentalists. Car dealers and SUV owners who have benefited from the SUV tax incentives say the breaks help spur a key part of the economy – auto-making – and allow small business owners to purchase vehicles that improve their bottom line. Federal tax rules that took effect last month allow a credit of up to $3,150 for anyone buying a hybrid car, with small-business owners getting the same break as everyone else. The credit is the same regardless of tax bracket. However, small-business owners who buy a Hummer, Ford Excursion or other SUV weighing more than 3 tons get a deduction of up to $25,000 if they use the vehicle exclusively for work. The amount they get back from the deduction depends on their tax bracket. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Those in the 15 percent bracket would get $3,750; those in the 35 percent bracket would get $8,750. The benefits don’t stop there. Once they subtract the $25,000 from the cost of their 3-ton SUV, business owners can deduct the depreciation on the remaining amount. Someone who bought a $60,000 SUV, for example, can claim the remaining $35,000 over six years. No such luck for small-business owners who buy cars weighing less than 3 tons. No matter how much their vehicles cost, they can claim just $15,535 in depreciation over six years and $1,675 each additional year. The deductions for depreciation on trucks and vans weighing less than 3 tons are slightly more generous. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is working on a bill that would provide new incentives to level the playing field between SUVs and hybrids. “It’s inconsistent for the tax code to encourage business people to buy heavy SUVs and not alternative vehicles,” said Grassley, whose committee has oversight of tax legislation. “As consumer demand for alternative energy products increases, it’s important for the tax code to be consistent.” A Grassley aide declined to describe the legislation in detail, saying more information will be released in coming weeks. Dan Becker, head of the Sierra Club’s global warming program, said the SUV tax break flies in the face of President George W. Bush’s State of the Union call for less reliance on oil. “The president is right that we’re addicted to oil, so we should break the addiction by urging Americans to buy hybrids, not Hummers,” Becker said. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group made up of the major automakers, declined to comment beyond saying the group is satisfied with current tax policy. Bert Boeckmann, chairman of the California Motor Car Dealers Association, defends the SUV deductions, saying he’s benefited from them as a dealer and small-business owner. Besides owning Galpin Ford in North Hills, he has a ranch near Bly, Ore., where his employees use a Ford Excursion he bought with help from the deduction. “The Excursion’s a perfect vehicle for us because we can pick up eight people from the airport,” Boeckmann said. “You’d rather send one Excursion than two vehicles.” Nashville real estate agent Cindy Jasper said the deduction has boosted her small business as well. She uses two Hummer H2s to take clients to rugged farm and equestrian properties – and to catch customers’ attention. She says the vehicles and her Web site, www.hummerhomes.com, help her stand out from competitors. “It’s just such a great marketing vehicle,” she said. “You have to do something to be a little bit different.” The tax breaks for large SUVs are rooted in long-standing deductions for small business purchases, including trucks and vans for farmers, contractors and others who need heavy vehicles. Trying to jump-start the economy after the terrorist attacks of 9-11, Congress increased the deduction from $25,000 to $100,000 for 2003 and most of 2004. However, along with the small-business owners the increase was aimed at helping, lawyers, doctors and others took advantage, purchasing large SUVs and designating them as business vehicles. Environmentalists were appalled. Treasury Secretary John Snow weighed in as well, writing in a 2004 letter that the Bush administration favored the deduction’s “complete elimination” except when there was a legitimate business need for a large SUV. Grassley and Montana Sen. Max Baucus, the top Democrat on the Finance Committee, backed legislation in late 2004 that shrunk the deduction to $25,000 for SUVs. Congress approved the measure. The Sierra Club has called on the IRS to audit small-business owners who take the SUV deduction, saying there’s no proof they are using the vehicles for business. But the agency said it bases audits on individual returns and the law, not on outside recommendations. It does not keep statistics on the number of people who took the SUV deduction, spokeswoman Nora Butler said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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