Happy 75th Birthday Bob Dylan! Possibly the greatest poet to come out of the 60s, Dylan is our most revered contemporary songwriter. His incredible catalog represents some of the most important work in the history of Folk, Americana, and Rock music. Classics tunes such as “All Along The Watchtower”, “Like A Rolling Stone”, “Maggie’s Farm”, “Tangled up in Blue”, and “I Shall Be Released” are just a small piece of the puzzle, as Dylan released several legendary and influential albums like Blood on the Tracks, Blonde on Blonde, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, and Highway 61 Revisited.Famous for “going electric” at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, Dylan is credited with bringing contemporary Folk music into the Rock era, weaving his politically-charged lyrics with the exciting live musicianship that we’ve come to expect from concerts today. By doing so, Dylan essentially merged the worlds of Folk and Rock that encouraged the musical counter-culture movement of the late 60’s.Dylan’s acceptance of “plugged in” instruments (and subsequent hiring of The Band as his “electric” band) inspired a generation of musicians to explore the medium, and he heavily influenced artists like The Grateful Dead, Neil Young, and Jimi Hendrix (among countless others) to plug in and explore their instruments and songs in new, groundbreaking ways. On top of all that (as the story goes), he even maybe-sort-of introduced The Beatles to the joys of marijuana! Without Bob Dylan, we might have never heard Jerry Garcia play one of his beautiful guitar solos on an electric guitar, The Beatles might have never been introduced to their psychedelic side, and The Band may have never made their way into the public eye. It’s truly amazing to consider how massive Bob Dylan’s influence has been to the world of music and the culture that surrounds it!To celebrate this legendary artist’s 75th birthday, check out some great footage of the man himself performing some of his best songs over the years, along with a few of his most fun collaborations, and some very impressive covers performed by an eclectic range of artists. Enjoy the videos below, and happy birthday Bob!“Mr. Tambourine Man” at Newport Folk Festival in 1964.“Maggie’s Farm” opening the first-ever electric set at Newport Folk Festival, performed by Bob Dylan in 1965 (note the heavy booing by angry folk music fans at the end!).Bob Dylan and The Band perform “Forever Young” during The Last Waltz.26 minutes of Bob Dylan with The Grateful Dead from Giants Stadium 7/12/1987 during their “Alone and Together” mini-tour.In the late 80’s, Bob Dylan was part of a super-group called the Travelling Wilburys with George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty. While the band never toured together, here’s a music video of their hit song “Handle With Care.”Famed producer T. Bone Burnett organized these incredible contemporary songwriters to complete unfinished songs from Dylan’s Basement Tapes era with The Band. This modern supergroup, dubbed The New Basement Tapes, includes Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, Rhiannon Giddens, and Elvis Costello. This video below captures Mumford singing the beautiful “Kansas City”, with special guest Johnny Depp filling in for Costello on guitar.Here’s some audio of the great Johnny Cash performing Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” at Newport Folk Festival in 1964Dave Matthews Band has been covering Dylan’s incredible “All Along The Watchtower” for years. Check out this version from their Live in Central Park.Guns n’ Roses turned “Knockin on Heaven’s Door” into an arena rock anthem on Use Your Illusion II. Watch them perform the seminal song at Rock In Rio festival 1991.How does it feel?
As outdoor enthusiasts start making their pack lists for spring camping trips, it’s a good time to think about what shouldn’t be taken on camping ventures: invasive species. Georgia and the southeastern United States are home to many invasive species, which threaten the region’s crops, waterways and forests. Often forest pests infect a new stand of trees by hitching a ride on unsuspecting campers’ firewood, said Joe LaForest, a forest health specialist with the University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. While it may be tempting to use the rest of that winter wood pile on camping trips, you run the risk of destroying your favorite camping spot by transporting potentially devastating insects from your neighborhood into a national forest or park. “Firewood is one of the main conduits for wood beetles and for other invasive insects,” LaForest said. “You really don’t want to be moving wood at all. Some people are saying, ‘Oh well, I can take it to my friend’s house so we can build a fire there,’ but you never know what you’re moving around.” Moving wood down the street or a few blocks isn’t as big of a problem, but wood shouldn’t be moved more than 10 miles. Most campgrounds and national parks sell firewood that’s been harvested in that area, and that’s the safest bet for keeping forests safe. “It is really hard to convince people not to do it,” LaForest said. “But it’s really a risk you don’t want to take. Even if you burn all of the wood you bring, if you were camping for two days you don’t know if something crawled out of that wood.” If you have wood leftover from your camping trip, it’s better to leave it there for the next camper than to bring it home — possibly infecting the trees around your home. Some of the pests that are more worrisome to Georgia foresters now are the emerald ash borer, which is as close as Tennessee. It destroys all native ash trees. The walnut twig beetle, which is also in Tennessee, causes thousand cankers disease and slowly kills black walnut trees. Georgia plays hosts to the redbay ambrosia beetle, which causes laurel wilt. It can also cut down important crop trees like avocado, an important crop in neighboring states like Florida. Those looking for more information about the specific pests that can be transported on firewood can check www.gatrees.org/forest-management/forest-health/dont-move-firewood. Some ways to protect the ecosystem of Georgia and our neighboring states from invasive species include: Clean hiking boots, waders, boats and trailers and off-road equipment after use to prevent invasive insects and plants from hitchhiking. Remove invasive plants from your land. Don’t dump live bait into streams, lakes or the ocean. Don’t dump aquarium fish or other pets into the wild. Learn what invasive species are in your area. Report new invasive species. For more information about invasive species, campers should download the center’s Bugwood app series for Android and Apple phones and tablets at apps.bugwood.org. One app, Firewood Buddy, details the types of pest that can be transported in firewood and offers fire-building tips and recipes. Another, What’s Invasive?, provides a layperson’s identification guide to invasive insects and plants. Other ways to stop invasive species are available at www.invasives.org.
May 16, 2016 Governor Wolf Announces Veterans’ Trust Fund Grant Recipients Press Release, Veterans Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that 13 Pennsylvania County Departments of Veterans Affairs Offices will receive $150,000 in grants and 18 charitable organizations and veterans’ service organizations will receive $400,000 in grants from the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF). The VTF is administered by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA).“Those who have served and those families who have sacrificed to aid our country deserve our deepest gratitude and we must ensure we serve them after they did so much for us,” Governor Wolf said. “These organizations are on the front-lines of ensuring Pennsylvania veterans are getting the support that they have earned.”These grants are funded by generous Pennsylvanians who voluntarily made a $3 donation when applying for or renewing their driver’s license or photo ID and renewing a motor vehicle registration, as well as proceeds from the sale of the Honoring Our Veterans license plate. This is the third year that grants have been awarded from the Veterans’ Trust Fund.DMVA received 18 County Director of Veterans Affairs grant applications totaling $249,199.35 and 87 charitable organizations and veterans’ service organizations grant applications totaling $3,068,517.39. Grant applicants slated to receive funding identified $578,586 in matching funds to be used in conjunction with their grant request. Combined with the VTF grant funding, this will result in veterans’ initiatives totaling $1,128,586.00 over a period of up to 24 months.“By awarding these grants we are able to fund a variety of worthwhile programs that assist and support Pennsylvania’s approximately 916,000 veterans and their families thanks to the general public’s support of the Veterans’ Trust Fund,” said Brig. Gen. Tony Carrelli, acting adjutant general for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.Grants of up to $150,000 were available for new, innovative and expanded programs operated by County Directors of Veterans Affairs or the Pennsylvania Association of County Directors of Veterans Affairs. The two areas of emphasis for these entities were veteran outreach initiatives and veterans’ court initiatives within Pennsylvania at the community, county, regional or statewide level. Grants were awarded to:Bradford County Department of Veterans Affairs: $15,000 to expand existing outreach services for veteransBucks County Department of Veterans Affairs: $10,000 to expand existing outreach and veterans treatment court services for veteransCambria County Department of Veterans Affairs: $15,000 to expand existing outreach services for veteransCentre County Department of Veterans Affairs: $4,500 to expand existing outreach services for veteransErie County Department of Veterans Affairs: $4,900 to expand existing treatment court services for veteransFayette County Department of Veterans Affairs: $6,600 to expand existing outreach services for veteransFranklin County Department of Veterans Affairs: $15,500 to expand their newly implemented outreach program to assist veteransHuntingdon County Department of Veterans Affairs: $12,000 to expand existing outreach services for veteransJuniata/Mifflin (joint county application) Department of Veterans Affairs: $24,300 to provide mobile outreach for veteransMontgomery County Department of Veterans Affairs: $15,000 to continue their transportation services for veteransNorthumberland County Department of Veterans Affairs: $15,600 to provide additional outreach services to veterans Venango County Department of Veterans Affairs: $3,700 to provide an all-inclusive small business entrepreneur program for veteransWarren County Department of Veterans Affairs: $7,900 to purchase computer equipment to expand their existing outreach services for veteransThe grant announcement identified up to $400,000 in VTF funding available to veteran service organizations and 501(c)3 charitable organizations with a mission of serving Pennsylvania veterans. Funding priorities for this grant round included veterans’ initiatives focused on homelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder, employment and workforce development initiatives and other programs that addressed newly identified, unmet or emerging needs of veterans and their families.Grants are being awarded to:Community Hope, dba Hope for Veterans, Allentown (Lehigh County): $25,000 to help veterans and their families overcome mental illness, addiction, homelessness and povertyDavid’s Drive 831, Coatesville (Chester County): $10,000 to improve the life of hospitalized and/or homeless veteransDog T.A.G.S., Mechanicsburg (Cumberland County): $25,000 to expand existing service dog training program for veteransFamily Services of Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh (Allegheny County): $19,000 to provide support to homeless veteransFresh Start Foundation, Philadelphia (Philadelphia County): $25,000 to continue and expand its mobile care coordination team to provide outreach services to veteransHuman Engineering Research Laboratories University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh (Allegheny County): $30,000 to assist wounded, injured and ill veterans into college science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programsLehigh Valley Center for Independent Living, Allentown (Lehigh County): $25,000 to provide assistance to veterans in need of housing stabilityNorthwest PA Eminent Community Institute, Oil City (Venango County): $20,000 to match veterans with employment opportunities across the northwest region of PennsylvaniaOperation Homefront PA/DE/NJ, Doylestown (Bucks County): $10,000 to provide emergency financial assistance to Pennsylvania veterans in needOperation Troop Appreciation, McKeesport (Allegheny County): $25,000 to provide emergency assistance to veteransPennsylvania Wounded Warriors, Camp Hill (Cumberland County): $25,000 to provide emergency financial assistance to veterans in needProject New Hope at Beacon Lodge Camp, Mount Union (Huntingdon County): $20,000 to provide assistance to disabled veterans and their familiesSyracuse University/Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Pittsburgh (Allegheny County): $25,000 to provide veterans with streamlined access to needed services through PAServesVeteran Community Initiatives, Johnstown (Cambria County): $30,000 to provide veterans with job search assistance and other outreach servicesVeterans Helping Hand, York (York County): $16,000 to support their existing outreach services and emergency funds for veterans in needVeterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh (Allegheny): $25,000 to partner with Allegheny County to provide treatment court services to veteransVeterans Multi-Service Center, Philadelphia (Philadelphia County): $25,000 to provide outreach and awareness support to women veteransVeterans Multi-Service Center, Philadelphia (Philadelphia County): $20,000 to provide services to homeless veteransAll grants are contingent upon the completion of a fully executed grant agreement.The VTF was established in 2012 and the PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is authorized to solicit and accept donations to the VTF on behalf of the commonwealth. Tax-deductible donations to the VTF can be made online at www.donate.dmva.pa.gov.To learn more about the VTF, visit www.vtf.pa.gov or follow DMVA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/padmva or Twitter at www.twitter.com/padmva.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf SHARE Email Facebook Twitter