News Article | May 13, 2017
Through the story of an Afghan tortoise, author Ali Lawati narrates what it means to make a home in an unfamiliar land and of local rivalries and tensions. -- With the refugee crisis far from over and anti-immigrant feelings on the rise, recently-released children's book The Greatest Race addresses the important issues of migration, diversity and cooperation through the stories of endangered species forced out of their home into a foreign land.Drawing inspiration from Aesop's The Tortoise and the Hare, the book tells the story of Gul - a young Afghan tortoise who was moved from Margalla National Park in Pakistan to Yosemite National Park in California, USA by animal traders. To establish a place for himself and other immigrants like him in their new home, Gul agrees to a rematch of the race between the tortoise and the hare, only to realise later that all of this was a plan to get rid of the newcomers once and for all.Set in the harsh yet rich landscape of Yosemite, this fun-to-read adventure story teaches children about collaboration and fostering relationships while raising awareness about illegal poaching. From practice sessions on sliding slopes of the park, cooperation with travelling ants to last-minute help from the competitor himself, author Ali Lawati narrates what it means to make a home in an unfamiliar land, of local rivalries and tensions and the benefits of unexpected kindnesses.As the story of Gul is told by a tortoise elder to a mixed-species children's crèche, the book also highlights how communities are formed and how they get along through mutual cooperation and consideration. As the lesson goes, in fact, that in the race of life, there are no losers; only winners.The book, organised in nine chapters, is available in paperback, e-book and eventually audio formats and is meant for children aged between 7 and 12. The gripping narrative is complemented with black-and-white illustrations by artist Ellie Rose, which transport the readers to the Yosemite National Park where they witness The Greatest Race in all its glory.In addition to the Amazon release, the book is set to be available in bookstores across the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Once a distributor is appointed, The Greatest Race will also be made available in Asia and Africa.Lawati has been a published author for seven years and a storyteller since he was ten years old, in Karachi, Pakistan where he grew up with an annoying sibling and more cousins than he wanted at the time. But now he is glad they are all there. He moved to Mississauga, Canada in 2001 with his wife and son and became a train operator with the Toronto Transit Commission. He is presently writing a fantasy middle grade novel for ages 8 to 12 and revising an adventure novel about monarch butterflies.The publishing house, Crimson Cloak, is based in Missouri, USA. It decided to publish the book for its clever story and sound moral themes which it believes are ideal for children around the modern world.
News Article | May 11, 2017
Terence William Hall May 31, 1957-April 20, 2017 Terry Hall, champion of the Napa Valley and Yosemite National Park, passed away on April 20 at age 59 following a long illness. Cherished friend, brother, colleague and mentor, he leaves a legacy of kindness, creativity, intelligence, wit and generosity. Born in Santa Monica, …
News Article | May 24, 2017
"Visiting a national park is an opportunity to experience some of America's most picturesque landscapes, iconic vistas and treasured resources," said Bruce W. Fears, president of Aramark's Leisure division. "With travel season upon us, we are excited, once again, to welcome first time and returning families, friends and visitors to the parks we serve across the country and help them create lasting memories with new recreational activities, culinary experiences, educational programs and lodging enhancements." Aramark's Green ThreadTM environmental sustainability platform focuses on sourcing responsibly, managing buildings and fleet efficiently, and minimizing waste by reducing, reusing and recycling. As longtime stewards of America's national parks, Aramark continues to take steps to reduce its impact on the environment and introduce programs that preserve natural resources. Encompassing Aramark properties across the U.S. park systems, this new social media campaign invites park guests to share their national, state and other park vacation photos, create and share Snapchat filters, and engage in other social media platforms to show their passion for the parks. Participants can submit a sweepstakes entry at www.whyihearttheparks.com, with one winner receiving a complimentary vacation to an Aramark-operated property at a national or state park. New offerings await the active traveler, the nature-lover, or those seeking a relaxing sojourn: Efforts pay homage to each culture and region while focusing on sustainability and wellness: Aramark proudly delivers innovative hospitality, recreational and interpretive programs inside and around America's top travel destinations and vacation spots, such as Denali National Park & Preserve, Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, Mesa Verde National Park, Olympic National Park, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Olympic National Forest, Lake Tahoe Basin National Forest, Yosemite National Park, Field Museum, Gettysburg National Military Park, National Constitution Center, Philadelphia Zoo and many more. About Aramark Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) proudly serves Fortune 500 companies, world champion sports teams, state-of-the-art healthcare providers, the world's leading educational institutions, iconic destinations and cultural attractions, and numerous municipalities in 19 countries around the world. Our 270,000 team members deliver experiences that enrich and nourish millions of lives every day through innovative services in food, facilities management and uniforms. We operate our business with social responsibility, focusing on initiatives that support our diverse workforce, advance consumer health and wellness, protect our environment, and strengthen our communities. Aramark is recognized as one of the World's Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE, as well as an employer of choice by the Human Rights Campaign and DiversityInc. Learn more at www.aramark.com or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/aramark-sets-the-stage-for-summer-travel-season-300462735.html
News Article | May 25, 2017
The best way to experience Yosemite this summer is via Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite. Not only do guests enjoy a resort-like basecamp with endless options for family adventure, but also have easy access via Highway 41, which is open year-round to Yosemite and includes must-see iconic points of interest along the way including Tunnel View, one of the most photographed views of Yosemite Valley. This AAA Four-Diamond resort is further enticing visitors with the return of the Unlimited Summer Fun Pass, as well as two popular summer traditions— the Summerdale Barbecue and outdoor mountain yoga. “Tenaya’s Highway 41 is open and the resort is ready to welcome summer visitors,” said Kathrin Poetter, director of sales and marketing. “Tenaya Lodge is perfectly situated within a two-mile drive to Yosemite National Park’s southern entrance, as well as area attractions such as the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, Idle Hour Winery and Bass Lake. Plus, after a day of adventure, guests return to a “roughing it, minus the roughing it” experience with newly renovated guest rooms, relaxing pools, an indulgent spa and array of dining and activity options right on property.” Unlimited Summer Fun Pass It’s back! This summer, guests can participate in numerous popular property adventures for one low price with the resort’s Unlimited Summer Fun Pass. Offered for $75 per person, the pass has a value of $119, a savings of over $40 per person and includes a ticket to the guided hikes, archery, rock wall climbing and full-day mountain bike rentals. The ticket, which is good for use throughout a stay, provides guests with a 24-hour period to enjoy any of the above activities. The Unlimited Summer Fun pass is available now through Labor Day. Summerdale BBQ A highlight of a Tenaya Lodge summer stay is the Summerdale Barbecue, an old-west themed resort tradition that returns mid-June through early September. A favorite family pastime, this evening adventure is experienced under towering sugar pines and incense cedars. Guests gather around the campfire for a hearty meal, storytelling, kid-friendly activities, lots of memories, and live entertainment by the Summerdale String Band. Outdoor Yoga Summer at Tenaya also means the return of outdoor mountain yoga. With the majestic beauty of the High Sierra as a breathtaking backdrop, guests can prep muscles and minds for a day of adventure during daily morning yoga sessions. Led by the resort’s Ascent Spa, the one-hour yoga classes are $15 per person and held on the open-air Tenaya Lodge Grand Terrace with panoramic views of the mountain landscape. After yoga, those seeking additional wellness experiences can visit the resort’s Double Silver LEED certified Ascent Spa, a 10,000 square-foot pampering paradise offering a full range of spa treatments as well as a relaxing steam and sauna. Highway 41 Attractions Family-friendly and pet-friendly, Tenaya Lodge recently completed a $5 million renovation to lodge guest rooms and corridors, creating a new level of mountain luxury for guests. The resort is a welcome retreat set amid towering pine trees within an easy drive to numerous High Sierra attractions. Among the sites along Hwy 41 into Yosemite National Park include Wawona – Home of the Wawona Golf Course, Pioneer History Center and Chilnualna Falls Trail; Tunnel View, the most photographed view of Yosemite Valley, offering a stunning perspective of El Capitan, Half Dome and Bridalveil Fall; and Glacier Point Road with Sentinel Dome offering beautiful sunset viewing and two other wonderful look outs: Washburn Point and Glacier Point. Popular sites and attractions outside of Yosemite and accessible via Hwy 41 include Nelder Grove of the Giant Sequoias, The Fossil Discover Center, Yosemite Ziplines in Mariposa, Madera Wine Trail and South Gate Brewing Company. About Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is an all-season resort framed by noble evergreen forest and a rich range of Sierra recreation. The lodge, set adjacent to Yosemite National Park’s South Gate at an elevation of 5,288 feet, offers 302 rooms, suites and mountain cottage accommodations. Tenaya Lodge offers easy access to Yosemite’s iconic attractions and many guests savor the alpine serenity of Ascent Spa at Tenaya Lodge. Resort dining options run the table from casual to candlelit at Sierra, Jackalope’s, Timberloft and Embers restaurants. For more information, visit TenayaLodge.com. About Delaware North Delaware North is one of the largest privately-held hospitality and food service companies in the world. Founded in 1915 and owned by the Jacobs family for 100 years, Delaware North has global operations at high-profile places such as sports and entertainment venues, national and state parks, destination resorts and restaurants, airports, and regional casinos. Our 60,000 employee associates are dedicated to creating special experiences one guest at a time in serving more than 500 million guests annually. Delaware North has annual revenue of about $3 billion in the sports, travel hospitality, restaurants and catering, parks, resorts, gaming, and specialty retail industries. Learn more about Delaware North at delawarenorth.com.
News Article | May 26, 2017
FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2014, file photo, Yosemite National Park Rangers transfer the body of a Cal Fire pilot who was killed in an airplane crash in Yosemite National Park, Calif. An investigation into the 2014 fatal crash found that the pilot was warned to avoid a hazardous tree to the right of his flight path before a wing struck trees to the left, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report released Wednesday, May 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Al Golub, File) LOS ANGELES (AP) — The 2014 fatal crash of an air tanker fighting a forest fire in Yosemite National Park came just after the pilot was warned to avoid a tree to the right but then struck trees to the left, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report. Soon after the plane went down investigators came to believe its left wing probably struck a tree. The report released Wednesday provides new details on what led up to the crash, which killed pilot Geoffrey "Craig" Hunt, 62, but does not conclude what caused it. The board is expected to determine the probable cause within about 45 days, said Janet Upton, spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which was operating the aircraft under control of the National Park Service when the crash occurred on Oct. 7, 2014. The twin-engine S-2F3AT was working with a tactical aircraft over the fire and another airplane that flies ahead of retardant-laden air tankers to guide them to drop points. Both support planes reported good visibility. According to the report, the guide plane flew a proposed route and released smoke to show Hunt where to drop retardant. The approach included a slight left turn and then a right turn to exit the area. The guide pilot "described a predominate tree off to the right of the flightpath as a hazard, and instructed the accident pilot to stay to the left of it," the report said. The guide pilot asked the Hunt if he had seen the smoke and if the route looked OK, and he agreed, the report said. The guide pilot then began leading the tanker on the actual retardant run, describing the drop and flightpath and saying there would be a thin layer of wildfire smoke but he would see through it and break clear of it before reaching the drop, the report said. Hunt said "OK" in his last communication with the guide plane. The crew of the tactical aircraft overhead reported the tanker appeared to strike trees with its left wing while on final approach for the drop. The tanker crashed into the top of 800-foot-tall rock cliff and wreckage fragmented into a river valley below. Examination of wreckage showed the outer end of the tanker's left wing had been sheared off and a severed treetop was lying on the ground. Both engines were still producing power at the time of impact, evidence showed. The report said Hunt was in radio communication with his base and the other two aircraft throughout the mission and did not express any concerns about the flight or report any mechanical problems. His cause of death was determined to be multiple blunt-force injuries and there were no toxicological anomalies. The tanker was originally built as a Navy anti-submarine warfare plane in 1966 and was remanufactured as a tanker in 2004. AP reporter Don Thompson contributed to this story from Sacramento.
News Article | April 17, 2017
Bay Area-based non-profits Web of Life Field (WOLF) School and Rocketship Education have partnered for the 2016-17 schoolyear to bring 5th grade students from ten Rocketship Bay Area elementary charter schools to WOLF School’s Yosemite-area campus, Camp Tuolumne Trails, for customized residential outdoor science school trips tailored to Rocketship’s economic and curricular needs. Already this partnership has brought 101 students and 20 teachers to camp, with 213 more students and another 20 teachers from Rocketship slated to attend WOLF School through March 2017. Founded in 2007 in the heart of Silicon Valley, Rocketship Education is a non-profit network of public elementary charter schools serving primarily low-income students in neighborhoods where access to excellent schools is limited. While Rocketship has grown to encompass schools around the country, their birthplace remains their largest sector, comprised of ten schools in San Jose, one school in Redwood City, and one school in Concord. This network of schools, referred to as Rocketship Bay Area, together serve over 6,000 TK-5th grade students, 84% of which qualify for free and reduced price meals. More than just running high-quality schools, Rocketship addresses the underlying factors that help to eliminate the achievement gap for students: quality teachers, dedicated leaders, engaged parents, and active communities. This support network aims at developing the whole child, giving students every opportunity to become well-rounded individuals and successful adults. “An integral component in our achieving Rocketship’s mission of closing the achievement gap is getting kids in low-income communities as prepared for the world as their counterparts in any other school district,” says Alyssa Warren, Schools Team Senior Associate for Rocketship Education. “We have vast natural resources in California, yet many of our students have never even left San Jose. Our obligation is to expand student’s horizons beyond their hometown, and an incredible way to do that is through the life-changing outdoor experiences gained at science camp—a rite of passage for many of California’s students. It is one piece of a big puzzle, but it is definitely an important piece.” From 2010-2016, Rocketship Bay Area succeeded in running their own, teacher-led science camp program for 5th grade students at a camp and conference center available for rent called Camp Tuolumne Trails. Located just outside of Yosemite National Park, the camp provides students the chance to connect to California’s public lands and a stunning natural landscape where they can learn hands-on outdoor education. Each year the experience had a profoundly positive impact on their students; so much so, that ahead of the 2016-17 schoolyear, Rocketship began searching for a sustainable solution to make sure that future students could continue to benefit from science camp. Warren continues, “While we teach science in our schools, it is the hands-on learning that makes science come alive. Not only that, students gain immense social skills when they go off together and see each other in a new setting. Camp inspires positive risk-taking, and there is a new level of trust and maturity seen in students after a week of outdoor science school. It allows them to be their truer self. That is why we wanted to find a way to continue offering this to our students for many years to come.” At the urging of Camp Tuolumne Trails’ facility director, Rocketship reached out to an outdoor school also operating at the camp: WOLF School. As it turns out, they were the missing puzzle piece. Since 1989, WOLF School has excelled at providing residential, outdoor education programs for California’s K-12th grade students, and the organization is known for their ability to interweave state standard’s based science curriculum with customized lessons that support both teachers’ classroom instruction and individual student groups. Driven by their mission of “building respect, appreciation, and stewardship within the web of life,” WOLF School believes in the transformative power of the outdoors for all students when given the opportunity to make connections to their environment, themselves, and their communities. Homebased in the Santa Cruz Mountains at Little Basin Cabins and Campgrounds, part of Big Basin Redwoods State Park, WOLF School operates at multiple professionally-managed camps throughout California, including Camp Tuolumne Trails. “We are so thrilled to partner with Rocketship Bay Area,” says WOLF School Director Heather Butler. “One of our biggest goals as an organization seems simple but can be surprisingly difficult: get kids outdoors. We strive to bring the outdoor educational experience to all youth regardless of barriers, and we became motivated to find a way to get Rocketship’s students to camp, to get them outdoors.” Initially concerned at the cost of an outdoor school with the expertise of WOLF School, Rocketship quickly discovered one of WOLF School’s key values: affordability. WOLF School worked to tailor a program that fit within Rocketship’s budget, and Camp Tuolumne Trails owners, the Bill and Paula Baker Foundation, offered a discount to further reduce camp costs. Additionally, WOLF School developed a curriculum specifically for Rocketship Education, meeting their educational requirements and easing the burden from teachers. The outcome: a sustainable solution ensuring the continuation of outdoor education for Rocketship Bay Area’s future 5th grade students. “I was so excited to learn that we would be partnering with WOLF School!” shared Caitlin Malloy, a teacher at Rocketship Brilliant Minds, located in San Jose. “Our week at camp was a never-ending opportunity for students to be curious, ask questions, and investigate the scientific method. They discovered elements about themselves and each other as people, too, and have since carried a new sense of team with them back to our campus. The program could not have gone any better; I would recommend WOLF School to anyone and everyone.” “Rocketship’s students arrive at WOLF School with such appreciative attitudes and astonishing academic preparedness,” Butler adds. “They are so receptive to the experience, and our naturalists are having as much fun teaching as the students are learning.” During the 2016-17 schoolyear, WOLF School will serve Rocketship’s one Redwood City-based school: Redwood City Prep, and nine of Rocketship’s San Jose-based schools: Discovery Prep, Spark Academy, Mateo Sheedy Elementary, Alma Academy, Si Se Puede Academy, Brilliant Minds, Los Suenos Academy, Fuerza Community Prep, and Mosaic Elementary. The future goal is to include Rocketship’s two new Bay Area elementary schools, and to spread this successful model for outdoor education to all of their schools throughout the country. Visit wolfschool.org to learn more about these organizations.
News Article | April 20, 2017
It's National Park Week, a time to honor America's many outdoor parks and, according to the National Park Service, the country's largest celebration of national heritage. The perfect way to participate in this holiday is to step outside your front door and into a national park. Fortunately, every national park in the country will be free to visit on April 22 and April 23. There are more than 400 national parks throughout the United States. For those that typically charge an entrance fee, that charge will be waived this weekend. The National Park Service provides a list of state parks that are waiving their fees, plus other dates throughout the year when you can enter parks for free. Want to take advantage of this excuse to enjoy the outdoors? There are plenty of ways you can keep the excursion cost low. If you're meeting up with friends or family, carpool together and split the cost of gas. This keeps the travel cheap and cuts down on emissions, too. Make sure to pack plenty of supplies to last as long as you want to spend in the park, including a few reusable bottles filled with water, energy bars and fruit that doesn't require refrigeration, such as bananas or apples. If you're staying through mealtime, bring a cooler with ice packs and sandwiches. For a frugal snack, check out what items you already have in the house that would make good ingredients for a trail mix, such as pretzels, crackers, raisins and nuts. To sweeten up the mix, pick up a bag of discounted Easter candy and toss it in. Preparing plenty of snacks and beverages for your daytrip will ensure that you don't go too long without eating and blow too much money at a rest stop later on. Depending on what park you visit, you may be able to take advantage of one of its free events. Many of the parks are hosting events this weekend, including group hikes, bike rides, nature demonstrations, yoga classes and cleanup days. Check out the website and social media pages of the park near you to see what's in store. The National Park Service created the hashtag #FindYourPark and website FindYourPark.com to give you access to tons of fun events and amazing local parks you may not know existed. [See: 12 Frugal Ways to Save on Vacation.] Since Earth Day also falls on April 22, helping to clean and preserve a national park would be the perfect way to celebrate. You could even host your own informal cleanup day and see how many of your friends you can get to join. Volunteering is a low-cost way to get exercise, bond with others and give back to the community. The National Park Service put together a guide to hosting your own events that promote the outdoors as a tool for improving health and wellness. Here are a few notable events happening around the country this weekend: Earth Day at Grand Canyon . Visitors can join in on a litter clean-up, recycled arts walk, recycled arts and crafts and fun games to celebrate Earth Day at one of the country's most revered landmarks. All the activities are free and open to the public, and will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 22. Earth Day at Yosemite National Park. There are plenty of free activities planned in Yosemite National Park this weekend, including performances of an original play called "Shakespeare in Yosemite." The park will also host art activities, ranger-guided walks and educational volunteer projects. Explore Everglades National Park. This national park in Florida has more than a million acres of land and endless possibilities for exploring. A few highlights this weekend include wildlife walks, canal biking, a crocodile and manatee talk and a meteor shower bike ride. Park Rx Day at Golden Gate National Park. On April 23, Crissy Field in Golden Gate National Park will host one of the country's largest events to bring awareness to National ParkRx Day and showcase the health benefits of spending time outdoors. You can also join a family bike tour and bird-watching elsewhere in the park. [See: 10 Fun, Frugal Ways to Spend Your Free Time.] Use this weekend's holidays as an excuse to get outside and explore the national parks near you. Not only is it free, but you'll soak up the benefits that our country's natural treasures have to offer. Jon Lal is the founder and CEO of coupons and cash-back website BeFrugal.com, which saves shoppers an average of $27 per order thanks to coupons plus an average of 7 percent cash back at more than 5,000 stores. Lal founded BeFrugal in 2009 with the mission to provide shoppers with maximum savings for minimum hassle. The company operates from its headquarters in Boston and serves customers globally. You can follow along with Lal on Twitter at @jon_lal.
News Article | May 1, 2017
The 22nd Annual Mammoth Festival of Beers and Bluesapalooza in Mammoth Lakes, California is gearing up for its High Sierra summer party with four days of music and two days of craft beer tasting. It’s Mammoth’s strongest rockin’ blues lineup yet, August 3rd-6th, outdoors among the pines at The Woodsite. More than 20 internationally known bands will perform on two stages. On the Bluesapalooza Main stage, the Beyond Blues Thursday Night (5:15pm-10:00pm) kicks off with Robert Randolph and The Family Band with special guests Flow Tribe and Dreddie Poppins and The Professionals. Friday Night Rock ‘N Blues (3:00pm-10:00pm) features headlining performances from Mavis Staples, Valerie June, Eric Sardinas & Big Motor, Jason Ricci & The Bad Kind, and Saturday’s Bluesapalooza (11:30am-9:30pm) features Walter Trout, Sonny Landreth, Malina Moye, Samantha Fish, Dirty Revival, and Anthony Gomes. Festivalgoers can unwind, kick back and relax on Soulful Sunday (11:00am-5:30pm) with Vintage Trouble, Janiva Magness, Cedric Burnside Project, and Griff Hamlin & The Circle City Horns. On the Minaret Stage, RJ Mischo & Paris Slim, Brother Yusef, The Bald Eagles and additional special guests will have scheduled performances throughout the weekend. “At 8,000 feet, we’re the highest elevation beer and music festival on the West Coast,” says Sean Turner of Mammoth Brewing Company, host brewery of the event. “And it takes place under the pines in one of the most beautiful venues in the West! It’s a great place to come find your new favorite band and your new favorite beer and meet some of the brewers.” And when it comes to craft beer, attendees have a mammoth supply to choose from and taste. The Mammoth Festival of Beers features two days of beer tasting, both Saturday (12pm-5:00pm) and Sunday (12pm-4:00pm), showcasing more than 90 breweries pouring over 200 craft beers, such as Mammoth Brewing Company, Bear Republic, Figueroa Mountain Brewing, Firestone Walker, Green Flash, Hangar 24, Russian River Brewing, Santa Cruz Mountain, San Diego, Sierra Nevada, Stone, and many more. And for the progressive taster, this year’s new-dedicated Barrel-Aged Sour Beer Bar will serve specialty beers all four days of the festival. The event benefits the California Craft Brewers Association, The Infinite Music Foundation and many local nonprofit organizations. Along with the beer and blues, plenty of tasty food from some of Mammoth’s best restaurants will be served in the Blues Food Court satisfying the heartiest of appetites. The popular Cigar Bar returns. And for those that prefer grapes over hops, returning winery J. Lohr will offer their signature wines. Multi-day tickets are the festival’s best buy and very important ticket holders, aka VIP ticket holders, receive early festival entry each day; special VIP bar lines with complimentary Sour Bar Beer tastings; a Lair of the Bear lounge access with special amenities; VIP porta-potties, and more. Advance tickets are on sale now and this year’s event is again expected to sell out. Tickets are available online at http://www.vallitix.com or http://www.MammothBluesBrewsFest.com or phone at 888-825-5484; and locally at the Mammoth Brewing Company Tasting Room. For festival updates and additional information, visit the event’s responsive website, http://www.MammothBluesBrewsFest.com which features music videos; links to bands, breweries and ticketing; a photo gallery; email signup; live social media updates; FAQ section; an informative blog on festival happenings; and more. According to the event producers, this is the best place to obtain up-to-the-minute information about the festival. Or, contact the event hotline, 888-99-BREWS (992-7397). The event venue, The Woodsite, is located at 5701 Minaret Road between Main Street and Meridian Boulevard. Mammoth Lakes is a mountain resort located near Yosemite National Park in the Eastern High Sierra off Highway 395, offering world-class golf courses, mountain biking, fishing, hiking, and resort facilities. For additional information about camping or local accommodations, call 800-GO MAMMOTH or visit http://www.visitmammoth.com or http://www.mammothbluesbrewsfest.com/lodging.
News Article | April 17, 2017
The Interior Department on Thursday ordered additional harassment prevention training for managers and supervisors after an internal report found that men in a maintenance unit at Yellowstone National Park “created a work environment that included unwelcome and inappropriate comments and actions toward women.” According to the report released Wednesday by the department’s inspector general’s office, six women in the park’s maintenance division said they were subjected to derogatory comments, verbal abuse and unequal treatment by male employees. One woman said six pairs of her underwear were stolen from a dresser drawer. Another called Yellowstone “a man’s world” where male behavior “is very dominating.” None of the women were identified in the report. The six-month investigation that led to the report followed a string of congressional hearings and allegations from women employed by the Interior and Agriculture departments who said they have been routinely harassed by male superiors and co-workers, often in remote areas where park employees and wildfire fighting units work. [GOPers say they want to punish alleged sexual predators in government. Ryan Zinke has a test case.] At a hearing in September, Kelly Martin, a fire chief at Yosemite National Park, described “a 30-year progression” of misconduct by men throughout her career, from 1987 to now, where she was spied on in showers, secretly photographed, and pinned against a wall by a man who tried to kiss her. Women rarely complain, Martin told a House Oversight Committee, because “many … do not believe action will be taken.” Fear she said, is a deterrent. “The supervisory response to my three sexual harassment incidents was one of minimizing my experience and attempting to resolve the situation with a mere apology from the perpetrator instead of imposing more appropriate disciplinary action.” The directive from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is the agency’s latest attempt to change that. “I expect each DOI employee to cultivate a work environment of dignity and respect that a reasonable person would not find hostile,” Zinke said in a statement Thursday. “It is our individual and collective responsibility to ensure that our interactions with each other, contractors who support our mission, and the public are free of harassment, discrimination or retaliation.” [After 45 years of harassment of female wildfire fighters, Congress says enough] Like secretaries before him, Zinke said he expects all his employees to refrain from offensive behavior. “Bullying, degrading and intimidating behavior is not acceptable and serves to dishonor the mission and values of our department.” But as lawmakers pointed out at a hearing in which they lambasted Agriculture Department officials for failing to act on a number of complaints, words and intent don’t change a near century of bad behavior. Like Martin, who works for the Department of Interior, firefighter Denice Rice, who works at Eldorado National Forest for the Forest Service, which is part of the Department of Agriculture, said discrimination is a normal part of her work life. At a separate House Oversight Committee hearing in December, Rice said a fire supervisor repeatedly groped her, confided that he dreamed of having sex with her and tried to lift her shirt. When the Forest Service office that handles discipline learned of the incidents, they asked the perpetrator to retire, which he did, and he received full government benefits. Hearing that, Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) exploded. “The guy should not only have been fired, he should have been arrested!” Palmer shouted at Lenise Lago, deputy chief of the business office at the Forest Service. [As National Parks Service confronts sexual harassment, this park is exhibit A] Class-action lawsuits, consent decrees carried out 40 years ago and directives from departmental leadership have yet to end bias and discrimination against women in the Interior and Agriculture departments, where employees work in some of the most isolated places in the country. Wednesday’s inspector general report grew out of a magazine article in which a worker at Yellowstone alleged that a maintenance supervisor hired a woman solely for sex and looked the other way when she appeared drunk on the job. After interviewing 100 current and former employees, investigators determined that some complaints were inaccurate and unfounded. But some of the employee’s observations, such as misuse of credit cards and “men talking down to women,” checked out. For example, one manager really did say, “We’re not hiring any women this year,” saying that the decision was aimed at protecting female employees. He said in an interview with investigators that his unit did not have “too good a record at this point in time,” regarding its treatment of women. “He did not want the ‘distraction’ of a woman there without direct supervision,” the report said. “He told us, however, that he later changed his mind,” the report said. “He said he offered seasonal positions to two women, but they both declined. We confirmed this statement. As of the date of this report, the unit had no female employees.”
News Article | May 1, 2017
May 1, 2017 -- “The People’s House,” a 22-minute virtual reality documentary highlighting 19 famous areas of the White House as seen through the eyes of President Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama, premiered today at the Tribeca Film Festival. Created by Emmy-Award winning filmmakers Felix & Paul Studios, in collaboration with Facebook and Oculus, the full-length immersive experience (shot entirely in stereoscopic 3D) follows an 8-minute preview released in the final days of the Obama administration. The full length version contains additional personal moments with President and Mrs. Obama, and also includes scenes in the private residence, enhancing the emotional experience and resonance of the piece. Filmed over five days in November and December 2016, the former President and First Lady take audiences on an intimate tour of the White House, guiding them through the hallowed halls of our nation’s most iconic home. “Our goal for this unique VR experience was to document this incredible space and the history that it encapsulates, in a very specific moment in time, and preserve it for future generations,” said Felix Lajeunesse, co-founder and creative director of Felix & Paul Studios. “We are so grateful that President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were able to layer in their personal memories in addition to historic references to contextualize the rooms that are indelibly imprinted on so many minds across the world.” Viewers are given intimate access to explore the extensive and personal history of the White House that includes eight years of the Obama administration and also defining events over the last two centuries. From the Lincoln Bedroom and other never-before-experienced spaces within the private First Residence (including the Treaty Room, referred to by Obama as his “man cave”) to sitting with President Obama in the Oval Office, to exploring the Rose Garden and the Situation Room, "The People’s House” offers personal memories and insights from the former President and First Lady as they prepare to leave the place they called home for close to a decade. Rooms and areas visited include: the Cabinet Room, the Old Family Dining Room, the Red Room, the Green Room, the East Room, the Vermeil Room, the State Dining Room, the Blue Room, the Diplomatic Reception Room, the Treaty Room, the Situation Room, the Lincoln Bedroom, the Roosevelt Room, the Oval Office, the South Lawn, the West Colonnade, the Cross Hall, the North Portico and the Rose Garden. “The People’s House allows anyone to step into the rooms of the White House and hear from the Obamas about their time in the residence,” said Colum Slevin, Head of Experiences, Oculus. “Virtual reality gives us the unique opportunity to transport our audience to moments in history, and we’re delighted this experience has helped preserve the White House for generations to come.” Felix & Paul Studios conceived this project as an exploration of the White House in which the viewer gets transported through space and time, as well as through the President and First Lady’s personal memories. To achieve this, the creative team developed a version of the studio’s proprietary VR camera system that moves through spaces on a custom-designed robotic platform. Additionally, the Felix & Paul Studios team created multiple timelapse-in-motion sequences that accelerate and manipulate the flow of time and movement of light around the viewer, seemingly allowing them to transcend time and space. For their first collaboration in 2016, President Obama became the first sitting United States president to participate in a VR experience put together by the White House, filmed over Father's Day weekend at Yosemite National Park in honour of the National Park Service’s Centennial, in partnership with Felix & Paul Studios, Oculus and National Geographic. “The People’s House” is available today in virtual reality on the Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus, and on the Oculus Rift and is also available as a Facebook 360 video. A media kit including a 2D trailer, still photos and additional assets for the piece can be found here. Felix & Paul Studios is the industry leader in the field of high-end cinematic virtual reality with an unparalleled reputation for producing the highest quality experiences in this emerging new medium. The studio combines technological innovation with a unique, pioneering and in-depth approach to the new art of virtual reality storytelling—creating ground-breaking original cinematic experiences (MIYUBI, the Nomads series, Strangers) and collaborations with existing franchises (Jurassic World, Cirque du Soleil, Fox Searchlight’s Wild) and world-renowned personalities and leaders (President Barack Obama, LeBron James, President Bill Clinton). The company is the world’s only full spectrum VR studio, showcasing end-to-end creative and technological know-how and proprietary tools within one company—including best-in-class spherical 3D camera systems, production and post-production software and processes, and specialized audio capture, design and processing through its Headspace Studios subsidiary. Headquartered in Montreal, Canada with offices in Los Angeles, Felix & Paul Studios has a highly experienced team of over 50 VR specialists and is backed by Comcast Ventures, the Phi Group, LD Ventures and Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec.