Xcel Energy begins commercial operation at 500MW Cheyenne Ridge wind farm in Colorado

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Denver Post:Xcel Energy-Colorado has completed construction of the 500-megawatt Cheyenne Ridge wind farm on the Eastern Plains.The 229-turbine facility in Cheyenne and Kit Carson counties will provide enough energy to power about 270,000 homes, Xcel Energy said in a statement Wednesday. The project, owned by the utility, was completed ahead of schedule and began operating in August.Earlier in September, Cheyenne Ridge helped Xcel Energy set a record for hourly wind generation in Colorado when the wind power on its system served close to 70% of the energy for customers.Cheyenne Ridge will help move Xcel Energy, Colorado’s largest electric utility, closer to its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2030, the company said. And by 2026, more than half of the power produced by Xcel will come from wind and solar energy, according to the utility.The Cheyenne Ridge project will also generate economic benefits for area landowners, Xcel Energy said. Over its life, the wind farm is expected to generate about $107 million in lease payments for landowners and $29 million in new tax revenue.A recent report by the organization The Western Way found that more than 95% of the state’s renewable energy capacity is on the Eastern Plains, producing thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in benefits each year.[Judith Kohler]More: Xcel Energy adds to its wind power with completion of Cheyenne Ridge on Eastern Plains Xcel Energy begins commercial operation at 500MW Cheyenne Ridge wind farm in Coloradolast_img read more

Skeeter Beater

first_img In the time-honored tradition of long-haul truckers and cheapskates road tripping across the United States, the backseat of my car has long served as an ad hoc bed for covert slumber away from home and on an adventure. Pull over, crack the windows, grab a fleece jacket for your pillow, and goodnight.Employed carefully — and legally — sleeping in a car makes a lot of sense for a quick night’s rest at a mountain trailhead before a climb or in a campground when you pull in too late to erect a tent. Drive a truck or a van and you can unfurl pads and blankets in back to convert your Ford into a makeshift motorhome.Timco Industries LLC of St. Louis Mo., makes a product to “turn your vehicle into a tent in seconds.” Essentially square sheets of netting with magnets stitched on the edges, the Skeeter Beater window screens attach on a car’s exterior to create instant screened window openings.Made of polyester no see-um mesh, the Skeeter Beaters can keep out mosquitoes, gnats and other bugs.In my test, the magnets snapped tight to the car’s metal and held the screen in place with no gaps. Strong wind might move the Skeeter Beaters, though in a windy setting gnats and mosquitoes — not to mention in-car ventilation — won’t be an issue.In the past, lack of ventilation often hampered my nights sleeping in a car on reclined bucket seats. But with the Skeeter Beaters air flows freely through the mesh-covered open windows, granting easy warm-weather slumber.Since they attach around the windows on the edge of a door, you can go in and out of a vehicle without removing the screens.The company (www.theskeeterbeater.com) sells the Skeeter Beater for about $30 a pair. They come in several colors and eight sizes to fit dozens of vehicles, from a Chevy Suburban to a Ford Focus.(Stephen Regenold writes a daily blog on outdoors gear at www.gearjunkie.com.)last_img read more

Flash Farming: Crop Mob provides an innovative way to help local farmers

first_imgEvery Sunday morning, a group of metro Atlanta residents who call themselves Crop Mob drives to a different small farm in North Georgia to lend a hand. These people finish the day tired, covered in dirt and sometimes sunburned, but with smiles on their faces.Farming experience is not needed, but a desire to work hard is. In a single morning, a group of mobbers can accomplish several weeks’ worth of work. The only thing Crop Mob asks for in return is that the volunteers be fed lunch.“They want to get closer to the most important thing you can do — eat,” says Mike Lorey, a 28-year-old graphic designer and one of the founders of Crop Mob Atlanta.Mobbers have planted and harvested everything from squash and sweet potatoes to garlic and greens. Because most sustainable farms avoid herbicides, volunteers also do a lot of weeding. Hoophouses, a modified greenhouse that allows for year-round growing, are also built. Mobbers tackle each task with surprising enthusiasm.The original Crop Mob began a few years ago in the Raleigh/Durham area as a way for local farmers to strengthen their community and pool their labor. Last February, The New York Times ran a story that brought the idea to a national audience. Kimmy Coburn, a 27-year-old copywriter from Atlanta, happened to read this story.Coburn teamed up with Lorey to launch an Atlanta chapter, and they planned their first mob. Last spring, about 50 people of various ages and backgrounds descended on the Glover Farm in north Georgia. By the middle of summer, the mobs, which are usually capped at 50 volunteers, were filling up in a matter of days. By fall, they were running out of space in hours. The chapter sends an e-mail to 383 addresses monthly announcing the next mob, and approximately 900 people follow the group’s Facebook page.“There is this pent-up demand for people wanting to be able to help their farmers a little more,” Lorey says. “A lot of volunteers spend long hours at a desk and are looking for an escape.”Crop Mob has spread as quick as kudzu in the South. In North Carolina alone there are now six chapters including two in the Research Triangle area. Virginia has four, including one in the Washington, D.C. area. South Carolina and Florida have two each, and Tennessee and Alabama can each claim their own chapter. In all, there are now 48 Crop Mob chapters in 27 states including one as far away as Hawaii. Some chapters only work on community gardens. Others, such as Crop Mob Atlanta, travel as far as people are willing to drive. Their dedicated action demonstrates the growing interest in sustainably produced food.“I want to say it’s because I’m helping people, and it is, but that’s not what gets me up at six in the morning to go weeding,” Coburn said. “It’s because I have a good time.”last_img read more

Trail Blazers need a ride

first_imgTroy can see the Blue Ridge Mountains from his apartment beside the interstate in downtown Asheville. But the nine-year-old had never hiked in them until last month.Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine has helped create the Trail Blazers Youth Adventure Club. Children from inner city communities are learning outdoor skills on a series of adventures throughout the summer. Kids from public housing projects learn about the plants and animals while hiking, swimming, and exploring the summits and waterfalls of Southern Appalachia.Currently the Trail Blazers are borrowing an old bus that has seen some miles. However, the Trail Blazers are hoping to raise $4,000 to purchase their own used 15 passenger van. View photos and a short video about the Trail Blazers’ efforts to grow their hiking program here.last_img read more

Bike Racing’s Secret Handshake

first_imgIt was my third strike. Whiffing my oversized, bulky aluminum bat, I was already walking away from the plate. But my Little League coach, acting as full time pitcher, kept the ball coming. Parents initially roared with extra encouragement, but 7 or 8 misses later, one overly rowdy dad yelled, “Bring him the tee!” Self esteem? Who needs it?So they brought out the tee. And this time my bat made contact…with the rubber neck. The catcher shuffled, kicked the ball, and looked the other way. I didn’t bother running to first base. My spot on the bench looked rather comforting.And that’s how I found cycling.I enjoyed riding my mini six-speed Giant so much that I would take an hour riding all over town before the game, and I would pedal with friends until dark. It wasn’t until I was 13 that my hobby riding would turn into racing.My dad had competed in the beginner categories in college. He followed the pro racing scene and convinced me to give it a shot. I thought spandex, helmets, and skinny tires were downright silly. But he would occasionally check VeloNews and comment on the day’s stage of the Tour (apparently it was this big race in France, where some American was smashing it.) It worked.Before I knew it, I was lining up for my first ever race. Sporting a baggy James Dean jersey and loose cycling shorts (and underwear, which I discovered was not only uncomfortable but unacceptable), I expected to get crushed. Instead, I quickly gained an early lead. But about a mile from the finish line, my left pedal broke off. I couldn’t figure out how to put the pedal back into the crank  (all left pedals are reverse threaded, I learned after the race). Fed up and frustrated, I decided to pedal with one leg the rest of the way. I was hooked.Like me, most cyclists fall into the sport by accident. Some find the sport through other endurance events. Runners and rowers suffering from injuries turn to cycling for rehab, find freedom on two wheels, and apply their already competitive drive.I have yet to meet a bike racer who inherently knew the sport through popular culture and decided to give it a shot. With cycling’s popularity growing exponentially, however, the number of recreational cyclists continues to soar. There are 57 million cyclists in the U.S. Over 95,000 are bike racers. Those who make the transition to racing still have a hard time figuring out the actual steps to become a full-fledged racer.The 2014 road racing and mountain bike seasons open all across the nation around this time every year.  Every state or region has its own district where racers often compete for not just race wins but series titles and championships. The best part is that there are categories for everyone. Men, women, teenagers, masters, aspiring pros and elite riders all compete in different events on the same day.To get started, there are various avenues to enter the sport. But there are three major hurdles to overcome: finding a race, getting registered, and joining a club or team.101aRegistrationThere are two ways to register for an event: in person or in advance. Pre-registration is preferred by promoters and assures you a spot in your category. Beginner categories often fill up, so registering for the race in advance is key. You can sign up and participate in only the categories which you are eligible. For example, if you are a first-time male racer, you will sign up for the Men’s Cat. 5 (the lowest category.) Likewise, first-time women are eligible for the Women’s Cat. 4 events.The most popular websites used for registration are BikeReg (bikereg.com) and USACycling (usacycling.org). Both options also allow for event search in all regions.Registration fees generally run 20 to 35 dollars per event. There will be an additional 10 dollar one-day license fee for unlicensed athletes. After you have entered a couple of races and decided that you are hooked, you can purchase a yearly license through USA Cycling. With this license, registering is streamlined and you are now eligible to chase an upgrade.Joining A ClubThough you are not required to join a club, the benefits are immense. Clubs are made up of every level of athlete, from 13-year-old girls to 55-year-old men, all racing in various categories. By joining a club, riders learn from their peers, train together, help promote the team’s events, receive discounts from sponsors, and have travel buddies and teammates on race day.Finding An Event Near YouBike racing in the U.S. is governed by USA Cycling. Each region has its own state or area organization. Event dates and times can be found on both the national and local level websites (usacycling.org/events).Local OrganizationsMABRAVACyclingABRACarolinaslast_img read more

Trail Mix: June 2014

first_img Audio Player00:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. 22. 6. “Night and Day” 3:09 “My Lover” — Seth Walker 20. “Eyes For Me” “Falling Off” — Unicycle Loves You 10. — Jason D. Williams “Folklore” — Cyndi Harvell — West My Friend “Motor City Man” 19. — The Howling Tongues 3:08 5. “Smoke It” “All Walks of Life” 11. 3:15 “Gourd Vine” 6:18 3:17 2. 5:14 — Jim Mize 4:02 “Black Mountain Night” “Satan’s Toy” 2:50 3:25

  1. Stanton Moore
  2. Falling Off
  3. Flood
  4. Gotta Be a Man
  5. How’d You Learn
  6. Lies & Wishes
  7. Rabbit Hole
  8. Satan’s Toy
  9. Two White Clouds
  10. Folklore
  11. Good Friend of Mine
  12. High & Low
  13. Meet Me Down River
  14. Motor City Man
  15. Trouble (Don’t Want No)
  16. You Still Do It
  17. Dime Short of a Dollar Bill
  18. Eyes For Me
  19. Night and Day
  20. You Win Again
  21. My Lover
  22. Smoke It
  23. All Walks of Life
  24. Black Mountain Night
  25. Call My Name
  26. Gourd Vine
  27. Magpie
  28. Struthio Camelus Impression
  29. Between You And Me
  30. Mason Jar
  31. Moving Target
  32. Whose Heart You Wreck
  33. Bright Green World

31. 3:38 2:57 “You Still Do It” — Mingo Fishtrap — Edward David Anderson 4. 4:43 “You Win Again” 26. — Bruce Robinson and Kelly Willis “Rabbit Hole” 16. — Warren G. Harding “Call My Name” — Hezekiah Goode “Meet Me Down River” 4:12 23. “Lies & Wishes” 3:12 3:26 4:35 14. “Moving Target” — Mike Dillon “Struthio Camelus Impression” — Stanton Moore — The Whiskey Gentry 2:41 3:08 “Flood” center_img “Dime Short of a Dollar Bill” — Kelsey Rae Copeland — The Howlin’ Brothers One thing holds true here at Trail Mix . . . . the month after a festival gets featured, you are guaranteed to get a ton of music!  A ton!  This month’s mix is huge!  33 tracks long!  I uploaded tunes from behind a mountain of discs over the course of two nights!  I had so much music on hand that I had to move a bunch of stuff to July.Of course, that isn’t bad news.  It’s good news.  It means next month will be just as bad ass as this month.We kick things off this month with a great track from Stanton Moore.  Fans of Galactic are well aware of Mr. Moore and the underpinning his drum chops have provided the stalwart band of the New Orleans jazz/funk scene.  Having churned out sick jams with Galactic for nearly two decades, Moore returns to his roots with his first jazz trio record, Conversations.  “Tchefunkta,” this month’s lead track, is a fine representation of that sweet NOLA swing that listeners can find on Moore’s new record.This month also marks the return of The Whiskey Gentry to Trail Mix.  Recently, the band released its first live record, Live From Georgia, and “Dime Short of Dollar Bill” highlights singer Lauren Morrow’s impressive pipes.  You won’t find a better band on the scene right now that better blends alt-country and folk sounds.  These guys are the real deal.There are some impressive Trail Mix debuts this month, too.  Check out “Satan’s Toy” from Kelsey Rae Copeland, an up and coming songwriter from Southwest Virginia.  Jason D. Williams, son of the famous Jerry Lee Lewis, is featured, as are two great new acoustic bands, The Warren G. Hardings and The Boston Boys.  Other great new bands include The Bones of J.R. Jones, The Howling Tongues, Caleb Caudle, and Fire Mountain, and Hezekiah Goode.I am also excited to finally feature a tune from Danny Schmidt on the mix.  I used to go catch Danny and his Charlottesville songwriting comrades at these shows they put on called King of My Living Room.  On a stage made to look like someone’s living room, Charlottesville’s best songwriters threw songs around at each other.  As a member of the audience, I felt like a witness to something all to private.  This month, Danny is joined by Carrie Elkin on the outstanding “Two White Clouds.”There are just too many artists this month to mention.  All of them are great.  Check them all out more than once.  Stay tuned to the Trail Mix blog for artist features and some album giveaways.  Make sure to download and stream at work or home, school or the office . . . . Tell a friend.  Tell your mama.  And, as always, seek out some of these records from these great artists.  They support Trail Mix.  Let’s show some appreciation by buying their music.Download our June Trailmix here. 4:52 — North Of Nashville 3:52 “High & Low” 1. “Gotta Be a Man” 2:18 — Tina And The B-Sides “How’d You Learn” “Mason Jar” 4:57 28. 3:37 3:49 3:00 12. 3:00 3:10 29. 4:04 3:48 — Caleb Caudle “Good Friend of Mine” — Craig Bickhardt 4:03 13. 8. 3:39 — American Nomad — The Boston Boys — The Bones Of J.R. Jones 17. “Two White Clouds” 27. 24. 25. “Magpie” “Stanton Moore” — Kris Delmhorst “Stanton Moore” Conversations Stanton Moore — Blue Mother Tupelo 4:46 — Joseph LeMay — Fire Mountain — Radney Foster 7. 30. — Jeff Black “Trouble (Don’t Want No)” 9. “Bright Green World” — Carrie Elkin and Danny Schmidt 3. — Shaman Juan — Red June 4:27 32. “Between You And Me” “Whose Heart You Wreck” 33. 21. 15. 18. last_img read more

The Annual Peachtree Road Race, Atlanta, Georgia

first_imgThe Peachtree Road Race 10K is one of the biggest athletic events in the South (Atlanta, Ga.) each year on July 4. It’s also the USA 10K National Championship Road Race, so all the big dogs will be toeing the line.The AJC Peachtree Road Race is a 10K event that takes place every Fourth of July in Atlanta, Georgia.  The first Peachtree was held in 1970 and featured 110 runners. The AJC Peachtree Road Race is now the largest 10K running event in the world with 60,000 participants. The AJC Peachtree Road Race is perhaps most famous for the coveted AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt, which is handed out to all the event finishers.The event began on July 4, 1970, with 110 runners now known as the “Original 110,” running 6.2 miles through Atlanta to Central City Park.Boston Marathon champ Meb Keflezghi will be starting dead last at Peachtree as part of a charity chase fundraiser to see if he can catch the entire 22,000-runner field. At least seven Olympians have also been confirmed for the event.It’s more of a street party and social event than a race, with far more spectators and revelers than runners, so everyone is welcome! All the bars along Peachtree open up at 6 a.m.Visit PeachtreeRoadRace.org for more information.Supporters can help Keflezighi reach his goal by donating to Kilometer Kids. All proceeds will go toward expanding the reach and accessibility of the program in the Atlanta metro area as part of a continued effort to encourage young people to achieve health and fitness through running. Keflezighi is the first American man to win the Boston Marathon since 1983, and is the only person ever to win the Boston Marathon (2014), the TCS New York City Marathon (2009) and an Olympic medal (2004).Peachtree-Road-race-adaptivelast_img read more

Mountain Mama: Marathon Training is Getting Real

first_imgWith Month Two of Marathon Training Behind Her, Mountain Mama is learning a lot about running, but even more about life.Some people would prefer electric shock therapy than be alone with their own thoughts. At least that’s what the findings of a study published in Science found.I can relate. Faced with the prospect of going solo on my first double digit long run, I searched for someone to run with, paying a babysitter to squeeze a run in Thursday evening, finishing with a headlamp. Ten miles alone seemed so long, all alone in the woods, left alone with my thoughts. But it turned out that no matter how much I tried to avoid thinking, running that long presented quiet pockets that I couldn’t avoid.My first ten-miler started off pleasantly enough. We walked to warm-up before trotting onto a trail with dips and swerves. I’d had a long week at work, and enjoyed the distraction of hearing about my friend’s new running shoes and life updates.I was still in an optimistic frame of mind when the single-track stopped in front of an old road. My friend turned to me and causally asked, “Have you ever been on North Boundary before?”“Nope.” I was already economizing on words, mentally struggling with the run. I was tired and couldn’t imagine how I’d actually finish ten miles.He must have picked up on my need to be distracted because, usually a man of few words, he carried on a one-sided conversation for the next ten minutes uphill.“It’s not so bad, is it? A long uphill, but the slope is gentle,” he said in a cheery voice that only served to make me feel worse. Because it was bad for me, I was struggling with that unending hill. The top of every switchback hid the next ascent, the canopy overhead giving me false hope that we were about to crest the mountain.I could only manage an “uh huh.” Then I was back in the prison of my mind, which turned to all my friends who had recently told me of their travel plans. One was in Hawaii as I huffed and puffed up the mountain. Others had told me about winter trips to whitewater kayak in Ecuador and complete yoga teacher certification programs in Bali. With my bank account balance hovering dangerously around zero, any extra money was going to replace my fifteen-year-old hot water heater. Heck, I wasn’t even going to Gauley Fest (like every other friend in the Southeast who kept posting on Facebook about packing) or the Feather Fest (like all my California friends who were excited to escape the smoke from fires for a weekend). Everyone was living a Big Life, going to exotic places and having amazing experiences. Except for me. My life felt small and mundane and full of ascents.My friend pulled me out of this pit of misery pointing to the view on our right, where the canopy gave way to blue-tinted mountains lining the horizon, like waves stretching into infinity. The late evening sun backlit the mountains, making them look dreamy and soft, enshrined with a magical blue halo.“Wow!” I said, really meaning it. I kept my eyes glued to the right, anticipating every gap in the trees to watch the setting sun. The trail climbed upward and we trotted along. My stomach rumbled from my decision to drink a late afternoon latte and two snack sized Snickers. My feet still felt weighted and my body sluggish. But my mind felt different.We ran in silence, taking in the beauty that existed a few minutes from our backdoors. I inhaled into the hill, pulling one foot after another up, up, up. I breathed in the beauty of the mountains and felt my resistance to the long run soften.Finally the top of the mountain came into view. My feet felt lighter, my pace quickened at the prospect of summiting. We stood there for a minute, gulping in air along with the view. I swelled with the abundance of being able to run with a friend surrounded by the mountains and the woods. I beamed down at my legs who had taken me there to that moment.But the sun was setting and we weren’t halfway home so we turned down a steep single-track and leaned down the mountain. My feet danced with the terrain, waltzing with roots, rocks, and ruts. I flirted with gravity, pushing my torso forward and daring my feet to keep pace when it occurred to me that I was going somewhere.I was running down the mountain, chasing the last of the waning sun. And I realized that focusing on what was right in front of me was pretty exciting. I didn’t have to go halfway around the world for an adventure or to live the kind of big life I dreamed of. I’d been putting so much energy into everyone else’s lives and the extraordinary things they were doing that I was missing out on my own.I let go of my pathetic bank account balance at mile 5, the office bullshit at mile 6, my parenting woes at mile 7, and my epic love failures at mile 8. After that, it was all I could do to see the last two miles of trail.A few stars guided us as we cooled down, my mind quieter and less frazzled. Endorphins flooded me. We high-fived, congratulating each other on a great run. I chugged water that tasted like heaven in my mouth.The big lesson I’ve learned from month two of marathon training has nothing to do with warming up, negative splits, hydration, or the right gear. I’m learning how to run when I don’t feel like running. I remind myself that I chose to run this race and it’s a luxury to have the time to focus on doing something so good for my mind and body. Marathon training has taught me to stop comparing myself to everyone else. I’m living the hell out of the life I have.last_img read more

Bobcats in your Backyard: Growing Concerns of their Growing Population

first_imgCould the bobcat, North America’s most common wildcat, become the country’s next big urban pest? With the ability to adapt to new environments, bobcats can thrive almost anywhere, maybe even in your own backyard.According to a report by the Associated Press, these wildcats have been spotted making their homes in suburban areas, small towns, swamps, and corn fields. Apparently less elusive around humans, bobcats seem to understand that there is no shortage of food in cities. Their growing population is now triple what it was in the 1980’s; there are an estimated 3.6 million nationwide according to a study published in the Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management.Photo by Amanda KleinBobcats have been the focus of research by wildlife ecologist, John Litvaitis, for almost 40 years. Litvaitis created a website dedicated to the resurgence of the bobcat, specifically in New Hampshire. The website features hundreds of amateur photographs of the sly cats being found sprawled out on lawns, stalking small animals such as squirrels, and seeking after their next meal.“Complaints about bobcats preying on domestic chickens have increased, requests from the public to trap and relocate bobcats have risen, and instances of road-killed bobcats have become common throughout the state,” said Patrick Tate, a wildlife biologist with New Hampshire Fish and Game Department in AP’s report.Tate added, ”Many people enjoy seeing them, but for others they are a nuisance.”With that, the major conflict arises: is their increase in population a success story to celebrate or a threat that must be dealt with?While their appearances have been rare, there was a bobcat attack on a Blue Ridge hiker at Virginia’s Humpback Rock just last July. According to an article from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the bobcat pounced on a man in his early 30s who was able to fight back as his hiking companion sprayed the bobcat with their bear spray, forcing it to flee.Very few of the roaming bobcats are showing intention to harm humans though, as seen in the video below showcasing a family of bobcats in Plano, TX.Whether it be an outrage or a solution, many states have bobcat trapping and hunting seasons made legal through the granting of a permit to regulate their growing population size. For more information on what the laws and regulations there are in your area, look to your state’s Wildlife Resources Commission.last_img read more

Peruvian Police Capture Suspected Shining Path Commander

first_imgBy Dialogo September 21, 2009 The suspected “principal coordinator” of the Shining Path guerrilla group has been arrested by the National Police in an operation in the jungles of northeast Peru, the official Andina news agency reported. Brandy Maldonado Vasquez was arrested at a house outside the town of Santa Rosa de Yanajanca, where police found flags bearing the hammer and sickle, a shotgun, leaflets, notebooks and a cell phone. The 35-year-old, known as “Comrade Levi,” is believed to have been the group’s political chief in Yanajanca, as well as in the towns of Nuevo Progreso, Alto Uchiza and Tocache, all located in Huanuco and San Martin provinces. Maldonado is accused of having participated between 2004 and 2008 in several campaigns led by “Comrade Artemio,” the only remaining high-profile fugitive of the guerrilla group that terrorized Peru in the 1980s, committing murders, distributing propaganda and stirring up unrest, Andina said. He allegedly organized strikes and protests by coca growers against crop eradication programs between 2005 and 2007, Andina said. The so-called “remnants” of the Shining Path have been blamed for an increase in violence in Peru’s interior in recent months. The Shining Path has a presence in both the Upper Huallaga Valley and the Valley of the Apurimac and Ene rivers, known as the VRAE region. The Upper Huallaga Valley is a center of coca cultivation and cocaine production. The guerrilla group’s remnants operate in both valleys, working with drug traffickers and staging attacks on the security forces. The Maoist-inspired Shining Path launched its uprising on May 17, 1980, with an attack on Chuschi, a small town in Ayacucho province. A truth commission appointed by former President Alejandro Toledo blamed the Shining Path for most of the nearly 70,000 deaths the panel ascribed to politically motivated violence during the two decades following the group’s 1980 uprising. The guerrilla group also caused an estimated $25 billion in economic losses, according to commission estimates. Founder Abimael Guzman, known to his fanatic followers as “President Gonzalo,” was captured with his top lieutenants on Sept. 12, 1992, an event that marked the “defeat” of the insurgency. Guzman, who was a professor of philosophy at San Cristobal University before initiating his armed struggle in the Andean city of Ayacucho, once predicted that 1 million Peruvians would probably have to die in the ushering-in of the new state envisioned by Shining Path. The group became notorious for some of its innovations, such as blowing apart with dynamite the bodies of community service workers its members killed, or hanging stray canines from lampposts as warnings to “capitalist dogs.” The Shining Path’s remnants did not comply with Guzman’s order more than a decade ago to end the armed struggle, and he does not recognize them as members of the group. Comrade Artemio called on the government last December for a “political solution” to end the armed conflict. In May, the La Republica newspaper reported that Guzman, who is serving a life sentence for terrorism, called the remaining members of the guerrilla group operating in the VRAE region “mercenaries.”last_img read more