Shepherdstown is an under-the-radar arts enclave and outdoor utopia in the lower Shenandoah Valley. Situated at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers, the small town offers a unique mix of past and progressive. Historic buildings with weathered charm dating back to the 18th century sit beside hip coffee shops and eclectic restaurants, enjoyed by Shepherd University students and city transplants like David Lillard, who moved 90 minutes west from Washington, D.C., 15 years ago and never looked back. Lillard, editor of the West Virginia Observer and an author of guidebooks including Exploring the Appalachian Trail in Virginia, found Shepherdstown while biking with his wife on the C&O Canal Towpath, which runs by town on its 184-mile route between D.C. and Cumberland, Md.“In some ways we got on our bikes and moved 70 miles upriver,” says Lillard.In addition to the river access and close proximity to the C&O, Shepherdstown is a recreation hub for Appalachian Trail hikers and explorers of the nearby Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and Antietam National Battlefield. After a day at play, you’ll find friendly locals and adventurous visitors grabbing a beer at Stonewall’s Pub or watching an independent film at the Opera House.“It’s an interesting blend of people who are into the arts and the outdoors,” Lillard adds. “This is a town where you’re always going to run into someone that you know, but I’ve been here for 15 years and I’m still regularly meeting people.”Shepherdstown is the oldest town in West Virginia. Originally called Mechlenburg, it was founded when the state was still part of Virginia. Illustration by Scott DuBar Lillard’s Outdoor Picks:Running Through HistoryAntietam National Battlefield might be the most scenic, safest road run in the East, with views of the Blue Ridge in the distance and battle monuments all around. Choose from an easy rolling circuit or a brutal climb from the creek to the observation tower.Hiking Above Harpers FerryThomas Jefferson said the view from the rocks above Harpers Ferry was worth a trip across the Atlantic. For the best views, head across the Potomac in Maryland for a short but strenuous hike up Maryland Heights.Skiing the Legacy LoopTwelve miles from Shepherdstown in Loudoun, Va., is the 900-acre Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship. Nestled below the Appalachian Trail, its 10-mile trail system, especially the Legacy Loop, offers solitude and wildlife.Bike CampingWant a quick escape for a night under the stars? Peddle out of Shepherdstown and head upriver on the C&O Canal’s towpath. The first biker campsite is just a couple miles away. In the long days of summer, you can set up camp, ride into town for burgers and beers, then back out in time for dark.Easy PaddlingOne of Shepherdstown’s greatest assets is the Princess Street boat ramp. Within a few miles, there are two put-ins upstream and one downstream. Sure, you’re just outside town, but once you’re on the water, you’ll feel like you’re out in the wild.
Feb 12, 2009Obstacles to healthcare workers during a flu pandemicA survey of 64 British healthcare workers found that though many feel obligated to come to work during an influenza pandemic, several barriers might affect their willingness, including the well-being of family members, a lack of trust in the National Health Service, a lack of information about the risk, and a feeling that employers don’t take staff needs seriously. The authors, who published their findings in the latest issue of BMC Public Health, advise pandemic planners to take steps to minimize these obstacles.[Feb 12 BMC Public Health abstract]Avian flu hits second British Columbia farmCanada’s Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) yesterday announced that it has detected an H5 avian influenza at a second commercial poultry farm in southern British Columbia. The flock was within the 3-km surveillance zone of the Abbotsford turkey operation where the low-pathogenic H5N2 virus was detected in late January. Initial testing in the latest outbreak suggests a low-pathogenic strain, and authorities will conduct further tests to confirm the subtype, the CFIA said. The farm’s 12,000 breeding chickens will be culled, according to a report yesterday from Reuters.[Feb 11 CFIA statement]Indonesian province reports avian flu in poultryA district official from Indonesia’s Yogyakarta province on Java island said today that avian flu has recently struck poultry in four subdistricts, according to a report from Xinhua, China’s state news agency. The official, from Bantul district, said heavy rains were contributing to the spread of the virus and that area residents have been advised to take steps to control the spread of the virus.[Feb 12 Xinhua story]Rituals involving poultry may help spread H5N1 in IndonesiaTraditional and religious rituals involving chicken and duck sacrifices on Indonesia’s Bali island may play a role in the spread of H5N1 avian influenza, according to a survey conducted by animal health officials in Bali’s Klungkung regency. The survey found that animals bought specifically for the rituals are often slaughtered in large groups by people who don’t wear protective equipment, and the carcasses are cleaned in rivers or gutters that local people use for bathing or drinking water, according to a report today from the Jakarta Post. The 2007 survey included responses from 641 people from 18 villages that had been hit by outbreaks and 25 uninfected villages.[Feb 12 Jakarta Post story]
FORT NELSON, B.C. – The Government of Canada has announced that it will be investing in safety at the Northern Rockies Regional Airport.According to the Government, the $356,680 in funding will go towards the purchasing of a new grader which will be used to maintain the runways, taxiways, and aprons.Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, says it is important to invest in airports in order to support economic growth and to maintain the safety for all users.- Advertisement -“Our Government recognizes that local airports are major contributors to the economic growth and social well-being of smaller communities. In addition to supporting travel and tourism, local airports are key connectors for business, health care, social services, and emerging resource development sectors. These investments will improve access to safe, efficient and accessible air transportation options, and will help us deliver on our promise to build safer, healthier and stronger communities across Canada.”Funding for the Airport comes from Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program.To date, the Federal Government has invested more than $11.7 million in ACAP funding for 15 safety projects at the Northern Rockies Regional Airport.Advertisement To learn more about ACAP funding, you can visit the Government of Canada’s website.