News UpdatesLiquor Sale : Full Bench Of Madras HC To Hear Tomorrow Cases Pertaining To Closure Of TASMAC Shops In TN LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK13 May 2020 12:20 AMShare This – xA Full Bench of the Madras High Court will hear tomorrow cases relating to closure of TASMAC shops/liquor shops in Tamil Nadu.A bench comprising Chief Justice A P Sahi, Dr.Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice P.N.Prakash will hear the cases relating to TASMAC Shops in the State of Tamilnadu filed and pending in the Principal Seat at Madras and Madurai Bench through Video Conferencing on…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginA Full Bench of the Madras High Court will hear tomorrow cases relating to closure of TASMAC shops/liquor shops in Tamil Nadu.A bench comprising Chief Justice A P Sahi, Dr.Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice P.N.Prakash will hear the cases relating to TASMAC Shops in the State of Tamilnadu filed and pending in the Principal Seat at Madras and Madurai Bench through Video Conferencing on Thursday, 14.05.2020 at 10.30 a.m.On May 8, a division bench comprising Justices Vineet Kothari and Pushpa Satynarayana ordered the closure of alcohol vending outlets in Tamil Nadu till the lifting of lockdown, taking note of huge crowd situation in outlets selling alcohol bottles in retail. The Court noted that the conditions imposed by it for regulating the crowd in TASMAC (Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation) shops selling liquor were “blatantly violated”.The Court however permitted online sale of alcohol and home delivery. On May 6, the Tamil Nadu Government issued an order permitting the opening of TASMAC shops. This however led to formation of huge crowds and serpentine queues before the retail outlets, leading to the violation of social distancing norms to be followed to control COVID-19 transmission. Following that, a batch of petitions were filed in the HC, challenging the Government decision to open the liquor shops.On May 7, the same bench refused to stay the government order, but imposed several conditions for their functioning. In a special sitting held on May 8, the bench noted that its conditions have been “blatantly violated”.”It is brought to the notice of this Court that about 3850 shops across the State were opened, and there was a record sale of Rs.175 Crores. The above scenario reported after the day one of the reopening of the TASMAC shops only go to show that the State machinery is out of control either in disciplining the crowd or even in the process of sales. It is also reported that the number of police personnel being infected with COVID-19 disease is also on the rise and deploying them for controlling the crowded tipplers before the TASMAC shops would also put their life at risk, besides preventing them from discharging their duties in places, where their services are really required”, the bench observed.TASMAC has filed SLP in the SC against the May 8 judgment of the Division Bench.Next Story
News UpdatesUnreasonable To Stop Payment Of Meagre Amount Towards Social Security Pension When Crores Of Public Money Being Spent For Different Activities: AP HC [Read Order] Sparsh Upadhyay8 Sep 2020 9:35 PMShare This – xThe Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday (08th September) while hearing two Writ Petitions held that stopping payment of social security pension to the petitioners without conducting any enquiry or without issuing any notice is “illegal, arbitrary, discriminatory and against the object of social security pension scheme, against the principles of natural justice and violative of Article 14 and…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday (08th September) while hearing two Writ Petitions held that stopping payment of social security pension to the petitioners without conducting any enquiry or without issuing any notice is “illegal, arbitrary, discriminatory and against the object of social security pension scheme, against the principles of natural justice and violative of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India”.Most importantly, the single bench of Justice Battu Devanand observed,”While spending crores of rupees of public money for all the programmes, it is unreasonable to stop payment of meagre amount being paid towards social security pension in favour of the petitioners.”Interestingly, the Court remarked,”At present also, thousands of crores of rupees are being spent under various programmes stating that it is for the welfare of the people. Can anyone forget spending crores of rupees for painting one political party colour to the government offices?” (emphasis supplied)It may be noted that the YS Jaganmohan Reddy-led, Andhra Pradesh Government in 2019 had decided to paint all panchayat buildings in party (YSR Congress Party) colours. However, it can’t be said with certainty if the Court was referring to this particular incident in its order.The Background of the Writ PetitionsWrit Petition No.21104 of 2019This Writ Petition was filed by 175 petitioners. The Counsel for the petitioners submitted that all the petitioners are from a backward village and they belong to downtrodden communities.The petitioners were either widows or single women, who were deserted by respective husbands.It was submitted that as per caste custom prevailing in their area, in the case of Husband-Wife separation, they do not go to Court to take divorce, rather, they go by the decision of caste elders, who declare that couple got separated and that’s the reason most of the petitioners, who got separated from their husbands or deserted by their husbands, could not give any documentary proof to that effect.He also submitted that most of the deaths of husbands of the petitioners were also not recorded in gram panchayat. All the petitioners are eking out their livelihood by doing coolie works even that work is not available regularly.The Counsel further submitted that 5 years back petitioners were selected as eligible for pension either as widows or as single women after following due procedure and scrutiny.Significantly, these pensions were paid in the earlier government in the name of “NTR BAROSA” which was at Rs.2,000/- per month.the present government came to power also the pension was enhanced to Rs.2,250/- per month and continue in the name of “YSR PENSION KANUKA” and it was also paid to the petitioners from May, 2019 to till August, 2019.It was submitted that suddenly since September 2019 pensions to the petitioners were stopped by the respondents with any inquiry and notice.On behalf of the respondent Nos.4 and 5, a counter-affidavit was filed. The standing counsel for ZPP, MPP and Gram Panchayat appearing on behalf of the respondent Nos.4 and 5 submitted that after receipt of the complaints against the petitioners and others in the village that they were getting the pensions as widows and single women for which they were not eligible.It was contended that after making such enquiry in the village, it was found that the petitioner Nos.84 and 128 only were eligible and other petitioners failed to produce any documentary evidence showing their eligibility for grant of pension.Writ Petition No.10448 of 2020This Writ Petition was filed by the 5 petitioners against the action of the respondents; particularly the 8th respondent who issued the impugned complaint against the petitioners to stop the old aged/widow pensions.The Counsel for the petitioners submitted that the Government of Andhra Pradesh through Rural Development Department under “INDIRAMMA PADAKAM” introduced a pension scheme called a social security pension schemeAfter conducting elaborate enquiry, the petitioners were identified and selected for the pension scheme and they were paid pension up to February 2020 and from the month of March 2020 the payment of pension to the petitioners was stopped.On enquiry, they learnt that basing on the complaint made by the 8th respondent i.e., Village Volunteer the pensions of the petitioners were stopped.It was contended by the Counsel for the petitioners that no enquiry was conducted and no notice was issued before stopping the payment of pension to the petitioners which is contrary to the procedure and nothing but a violation of principles of natural justice.On instructions, the Standing counsel submitted that the petitioners were not eligible for pensions based on the eligibility criteria.The Standing Counsel submitted that some of the petitioners’ sons are government employees and some of the petitioners are having land in their name and as such, they are not eligible.Court’s ObservationOn a perusal of the Government Orders issued time to time, the Court observed, that it is clear that as part of welfare programmes the Government is implementing various social security pension schemes for the benefit of needy and vulnerable sections of the people which is undoubtedly laudable.However, the Court observed that the government is not supposed to spend public money as per their whims and fancies as this public money is accrued from the payment of the taxpayers. This public money is the property of every citizen. The courts, time and again held the same.Significantly, the Court remarked,”Earlier also, crores of public money was spent for different activities in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Did any person in the state ask the State government to spend thousand crores of rupees for organizing ‘GODAVARI AND KRISHNA PUSHKARALU’?. Did any Christian ask for ‘CHRISTMAS KANUKALU’?. Did any Muslim request for ‘RAMJAN THOFA’? But, thousands of crores of rupees were spent for these activities at the cost of public exchequer.” (emphasis supplied)The Bench was of the view that if the intention of the government to spend crores of rupees for all these programmes out of the public exchequer is for the interest and welfare of the poor and vulnerable sections of the people, definitely it has to be accepted.Court’s unique observation regarding the plight of the PetitionersRegarding Writ Petition No.21104 of 2019The Court acknowledged the fact that in Indian culture and customs, marriages hold great sanctity. Married women, especially, are accorded with a certain level of dignity and respect in society.The Court was of the view that as per our culture and customs, no married woman would claim herself to be a widow, while her husband is alive and no married woman declares herself as a single woman as and when she is living with her husband.In this context the Court remarked,”The poor economic conditions of the women and their families may have driven them to strip off the pledge of marriage and enter widowhood while their husbands are still alive, to avail financial aid. In such event, as and when the government is implementing these social security pension schemes to provide some succour to the needy and vulnerable sections of the society, the condition of the poor women as stated above has to be understood and considered with human touch.” (emphasis supplied)Lastly, the Court said,”Stopping payment of pension without placing the complaints received against the petitioners in the Gram Sabha for appropriate enquiry and stopping the payment of pensions even without issuing any notice is nothing but depriving the petitioners and throwing the helpless vulnerable women and old aged persons into starvation.”Regarding W.P.No.10448 of 2020The Court observed that all the petitioners were senior citizens and aged between 62 to 78 years.In this context, the court remarked,”The reasons stated to disqualify the petitioners for pension appears to be unreasonable and unsustainable. Is it right contending that 78 years old woman is not eligible for old-age pension saying that her son is a government employee. With regard to other petitioners, the allegation is that they are having some land in their name. It has to be verified whether the allegation is correct or not and if so, the said lands are fit for cultivation and the petitioners are getting anything from that land to survive themselves. All these issues to be examined and considered with human touch.”In the result, the W. P. No. 21104 of 2019 and W. P. No. 10448 of 2020 were allowed with the following directions:(1) The respondents are directed to make payment of pension to the petitioners from the month when it was stopped to till date within a period of 15 days.(2) The respondents are directed to continue the payment of pension every month to the petitioners till the appropriate orders to be passed by the competent authority after conducting an appropriate enquiry, in accordance with the law, if so advised, to ascertain the eligibility of the petitioners in Gram Sabha after giving an opportunity to the petitioners.Click Here To Download Order[Read Order] Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Story
News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Huge increase in Covid rates across Donegal Pinterest Facebook WhatsApp Twitter Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Facebook Google+ By News Highland – January 8, 2021 Google+ Community Enhancement Programme open for applications WhatsApp Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Pinterest As expected, there’s been a huge increase in the 14 day incidence rate across electoral areas in Donegal.Latest figures up to January 4th show that in the Milford and Letterkenny areas, the rate of infection per 100,000 people has more than trebled, when compared to figures up to December 28th.Letterkenny has the highest number of cases at 500.In North Inishowen, 88 cases of Covid-19 have been registered, up from 66 with the rate of infection 495.2 per 100,000 people.The number of cases in the South of the peninsula are up slightly to 158 with a 3% increase in the incidence rate to 706.4, compared to figures from the previous 14 days.Significant increases in the 14 day incidence rate have been reported in the Milford and Letterkenny electoral areas where it has more than trebled.246 cases have been confirmed in Milford with an infection rate of 1786.4, in Letterkenny 500 people have tested positive with the rate currently standing at 1678.4 per 100,000.Case numbers are up to 225 in Lifford/ Stranorlar with the incidence rate increasing from 467.4 to 869.1.Similarly, in Glenties there are 102 cases with the rate of infection jumping from 184 to 426.4.In Donegal, the incidence rate is 675.7 per 100,000, up from 403.9 with 179 cases confirmed there. Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Homepage BannerNews Twitter Previous articleOutrage at latest string of fly tipping incidents in west DonegalNext articleEmergency meeting called as nurses at ‘breaking point’ News Highland
In a survey conducted by the Liberal Democrat Education Spokesman, John Pugh, 75% of responding vice-chancellors said they believed Brexit threatened the international standing of UK universities.On subjects such as mobility, funding and staffing, university heads described the “considerable” problems created by Britain’s impending departure from the single market. More than 80% of the forty-eight responding vice-chancellors said they believed it was essential to preserve free movement of people to protect research and collaboration, while the same proportion believed the risk to funding would be “considerable”.In particular jeopardy are year-abroad courses, which could be endangered by Britain’s withdrawal from the Erasmus programme. The Vice-Chancellor of Bristol University said that modern languages courses, for which “mobility is an essential part” might not recover from Brexit.Perhaps the biggest concern of universities for life after Article 50 is a question of funding. The head of the University of Cumbria replied to the Lib Dems’ survey with the worry that it was “difficult to see the UK government being able to provide a 100% uplift”, in place of lost EU funding.Both the University of Warwick and Royal Holloway stated that they would lose Marie Curie research fellowship programme funding, with Warwick saying that American and Australian colleagues “no longer want to collaborate with the UK and are approaching France, Germany and Holland”.Meanwhile, Oxford’s own Louise Richardson again expressed concerns following Brexit in an interview in Paris. She noted that Iif EU students have to pay international fees, “we could reasonably anticipate that the numbers would decline… That would be a loss for them and a loss for us.” Richardson also fears that academics whose research is funded by the ERC are vulnerable to being “poached” by other universities.Oxford Brookes’ Chancellor, Alistair Fitt, remarked that despite the government’s protestations, the Brexit vote can be interpreted as “we are not open for business”.A third of vice-chancellors said legislation on university research should be delayed, to wait for clarity over losses of EU funding, though nearly 40% said they believed the bill should go ahead anyway.Last year, EU contributions made up 12% of Oxford University’s budget. Speaking to Cherwell in July, the University Research Services European Team said: “while we have a strong stream of competitively-won awards from many other sources, including industry, charities and the UK Government, we cannot overlook or underestimate the importance of access to ERC grants”.John Pugh concluded, “While Theresa May, Boris Johnson and David Davis endlessly repeat ‘Brexit means Brexit’, this research confirms that our most important academic institutions are seeing their international reputation thrown into jeopardy”.
For many years, plant bakers have undertaken a process of salt reduction. We have long recognised the importance of responding to consumer needs.While the media are keen to portray the food industry as villains, risking the nation’s health by filling their products with salt, the plant baking sector is a clear example that there are always two sides to every story.In 2005, the Federation of Bakers (FoB) entered into discussions with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to establish what was an acceptable target for salt reduction by 2010. These discussions resulted in an agreed target of 0.43g sodium (a sales-weighted average per 100g) by 2010. Over several years prior to this, there had already been significant reductions in the salt content of bread, including a 10% reduction in the two years to the end of 2005. Further reductions are being made to meet the forthcoming 2010 target.The FoB will continue to work with the FSA to monitor progress towards this target – in particular the review in 2008. At present, the FoB annually submits details of salt reduction in members’ bread to ensure the FSA is kept abreast of progress.We must not lose sight of the role bread plays in a healthy diet and the role salt plays in baking. Our challenge, as an industry, is to deliver a range of products, which have the same healthy attributes and widespread appeal, but with lower salt. Achieving this salt reduction target is a challenge, requiring a thoughtful, considered approach.
== l Organic bakery ==With Fairtrade and local sourcing in the ascendancy, we ask organic bakers: is organics facing an identity crisis?== l Profile ==We speak to Proper Cornish Food Company to find out how their relaunched biscuit brand, Furniss of Cornwall, is faring== l Automation & robotics ==All the latest news and developments from the Interpack show in Germany. Plus news of a new robotics research centre in the north of England
 https://blog.wdr.de/digitalistan/mechanical-turk-klicken-ohne-zu-wissen-warum/. http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaft/2.220/digitale-tageloehner-wie-das-netz-die-arbeit-veraendert-1.2375232. https://www.saarbruecker-zeitung.de/sz-spezial/internet/die-tageloehner-des-world-wide-web_aid-23379017. The Süddeutsche Zeitung, one of the most widely-read broadsheets in Germany, carried out an interesting experiment recently: “Our author spent one week slaving away at the digital platform ‘Amazon Mechanical Turk.’ The projects are paid miserably, the pressure is high, and every worker has to fend for themselves: Is this what the work of the future will look like?”.http://www.sueddeutsche.de/leben/arbeit-bei-onlineportal-die-mensch-maschine-1.3911727?reduced=true. Source: Spiegel 6/2012. http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/unternehmen/revolutionaeres-arbeitsmodell-ibm-schafft-den-miet-jobber-a-813388.html. “About one percent of the labor force, or 446,000 people, are employed as clickworkers in Germany, according to the German Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs’ latest research. Other platforms, such as Crowd Guru, Testbirds, and Streetspotr, exist alongside the market leader, clickworker.com.”https://www.saarbruecker-zeitung.de/sz-spezial/internet/die-tageloehner-des-world-wide-web_aid-23379017(not everyone who has signed up to this kind of platform actually uses it). Doris Albiez, Senior Vice President & General Manager Dell EMC Germany Working independently is hardly a new development. There have always been professions in which workers don’t have a specific employment contract, and usually don’t take on employees for the most part, if at all. Architects, graphic designers, musicians, and freelance journalists are quite often self-employed.Freelancers with specialist knowledge in areas such as software development or SAP configuration have always been part of the IT sector. These workers really appreciate the high degree of flexibility this type of work entails: They can more or less decide how they divide up their time, can usually choose where they want to work, and – what is often the most important factor – they don’t have a boss, but a client instead, and might even have several at any given time. This model also offers these clients a great deal of flexibility – they can assign projects at short notice, without having to invest in new employees. This type of employment used to offer self-employed workers a number of financial benefits. Many people were able to earn significantly more money than they would have if they were employed in a permanent position, which in turn meant that social security wasn’t a pressing concern.Of course, this model of freelancing continues to exist. However, it is taking on a significant, new dimension in the digital age. While self-employed workers used to (and still do) find projects through networking and referrals, the Web has now stepped in to take over this role. Dedicated platforms now put clients and freelancers in contact with one another, while platform operators provide the infrastructure, set the rules, and earn a commission for doing so.This ‘platform economy’ has many faces, as evident by the diverse range of terms that have developed in its wake – from the gig economy, to crowd working, click working, and micro-tasking, depending on the main focus of the job. What all these models have in common is that they don’t offer an employment contract for a permanent position. Instead, they revolve around the allocation of individual commissions and projects that are taken on by people who do not have a contract with the company. That’s why the term ‘gig,’ usually reserved for musicians, offers such a fitting analogy.While platforms such as Twago and Upwork still mainly cater to traditional self-employed workers and freelancers, others have tapped into completely new markets, or even created them from scratch. The most famous example of this type of platform is Uber, a rideshare service that brings drivers and passengers together. It functions solely as a go-between – at least officially – and is not considered a client or employer. Some platforms in the gig economy offer services that are performed onsite, such as Helpling, which advertises cleaning services, or MyHammer, which offers DIY services. These platforms have taken on the role that classified ads or the bulletin board at the supermarket used to occupy. While the Web has a wider reach, and you’ll be able to find a more suitable service provider on it, the level of competition is also higher online.From gig to clickPlatforms that serve as an intermediary for jobs that can only be done online can be considered one step further into the digital world. Clickworker, Amazon Mechanical Turk, and Textbroker offer fragmented ‘microtasks’ that you can do at home on your own computer. This can include typing up receipts, identifying pixels, or writing short texts for product catalogs. These aren’t challenging, creative projects, but quite the opposite – they’re tasks that computers are (still) not intelligent enough to do, or that are too expensive for them to carry out. Jörg Schieb was right when he said that Amazon Mechanical Turk is a simulation of artificial intelligence. It’s amazing what digitalization is producing these days.It should be obvious that you will only earn small amounts of money by doing these kind of small projects – each typed-up receipt will only earn you three cents. Even if you somehow managed to flurry through one hundred receipts, you would still only be able to rack up three euros in total. It’s no surprise then that this type of the gig economy has been cropping up in conversations recently, because anyone who wants to earn a decent salary doing these kinds of projects will have to work long and hard. To say that ‘You won’t get rich with it’ is more or less a thinly veiled euphemism. These ‘digital day laborers’, usually do click work to gain an additional income at the most, if they don’t end up getting frustrated and turning their backs on it after a few attempts. This is far from the ideal image of the creative freelancer who can flexibly and proactively choose which projects they want to take on, and for which clients they want to work. I’m doubtful as to whether we can provide the resources needed for the digital transformation in this way.I think the most interesting thing about the gig economy is how the working world has split into very different models within a relatively short space of time. Right now, we are searching for organizational forms outside of the traditional structures, with their rigid workplaces and employment contracts. And that goes far beyond just working from home. Over the last few years, some corporations have been considering whether they should just work with a small core workforce made up of specialists – and hire freelancers, who would check in with them from anywhere in the world via a digital platform for however long their specific project needed to be carried out. The fact that these kinds of models are often in great demand in times of crisis seems to be a mere side note.I don’t think that every model the gig economy has produced is particularly sustainable. Many are characterized by the fact that they don’t offer social security. However, because many of these kinds of jobs don’t pay well, the idea that they would offer a private pension would be somewhat utopian. This would mean in the long term that society would have to step in when workers reached their autumn years – or in other words, when the respective clickworker or pizza deliveryman reached retirement age. When you look at it in those terms, we are all subsidizing the platform economy. I’m not sure if that will really work out in the long run.Goodbye to the standard working model?All this also goes to show how little our legal and social systems are prepared for the kind of changes that are happening in the working world. Even the question as to whether they should be considered self-employed/freelance workers or employees, and therefore which legal departments they would be assigned to, feels like an academic question more than anything else. A court in the U.K. ruled that Uber drivers were employees of Uber, but this seemed more like a stopgap solution, because it was not possible to define this phenomenon in any other way. Admittedly, despite its growth, the gig economy is still rather insignificant in terms of the overall economy. It only makes up 0.5 percent of jobs in theU.S., the home of digitalization.But numbers aren’t what matters. We are witnessing the beginning of a revolutionary upheaval. After just about 150 years, the standard employment model is, generally speaking, in the process of disappearing. To say that it’s obsolete would perhaps be going a bit too far, because this model too will continue to exist alongside traditional self-employment. Even outside of the gig economy, ‘atypical forms of employment,’ such as temping, are on the upswing, which means that the gig economy is merely one aspect of this development. More and more new models will be tested out, and we’ll just have to go back to the drawing board if they don’t stand the test of time. Different types of clickwork will also undergo this process, as AI will end up having the upper hand. And that’s also the right call to make – after all, gig work doesn’t have to be clickwork, because even the highest-paid SAP freelancer can belong to the gig economy.At the same time, solutions that connect flexibility and creativity, which are indispensable in the digital world, with social security, and which would give society the cohesion that it needs, aren’t on the horizon yet. And there won’t just be one single solution. As always, we’ll have to achieve a lot before that happens, especially when it comes to work.
Mary-Louise Parker & Denis Arndt Heisenberg View Comments Related Shows After being extended twice off-Broadway, Heisenberg will bow on the Great White Way this fall. Tony winner Mary-Louise Parker and Broadway newcomer Denis Arndt take on the roles of Georgie and Alex, two strangers who meet in a crowded London train station. Their encounter thrusts these two very different individuals into a fascinating and life-changing game. Directed by Mark Brokaw and written by The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’s Tony-winning scribe Simon Stephens (see below), Heisenberg brings to life the uncertain and often comical sparring match that is human connection. The drama begins performances on September 20 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre with opening night scheduled for October 13. Catch the play and take a look at the pics! Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 11, 2016
Highlighted by an extended period of sunshine forecast through the Columbus Weekend, comfortable temperatures and brightening foliage are anticipated as Vermont’s color progression moves southward and into the lower elevations. The first widespread frost of the season on Thursday morning is expected to accelerate the color change into the mountain valleys where a predominant green has lingered longer than usual this year. ‘All the gap roads are near peak or at least at mid-stage. Beautiful! The views of the Green Mountains from these roads are world class in any season, but especially incredible with the hardwoods pastels contrasted against the softwoods rugged green,’ says Addison County Forester Chris Olson. In northern Vermont the mountainsides are at peak as the mountain valleys come into full color from Newport across the Greens to Enosburg Falls and south to where east-west U.S. Route 2 crosses the state. The lower elevations right along Lake Champlain remain in early to mid-stage color change. All of the higher elevations across the central, middle third of Vermont will be at near-peak to peak conditions through the weekend. The foot hills west of the Green Mountains, near Middlebury, Brandon and Rutland, are showing mid-stage to near-peak color, depending on elevation. In southern Vermont the higher elevations from Ludow to the Mount Snow region along Route 100 will display mid-stage to near peak conditions through the weekend. Lower elevations along the Connecticut River Valley to the east and the area from Bennington to Manchester on the west side of the state will be showing a variety of early to mid-stage color. Motorists are reminded that while travel is normal on most state roads a few closures and several work zones remain; please drive with caution and consideration. For current road conditions and detailed planning information, please check our frequently updated map: http://www.vermontvacation.com/vtopenforbusiness.htm(link is external) Best Bets: In northern Vermont, recommended scenic routes for peak color viewing include Route 114 between Lyndonville and Norton, Route 58 from Irasburg to Montgomery Center, Route 105 from North Troy to East Charleston, and Route 102 along the Connecticut River. In central Vermont, Route 302 east from Barre, Route 215 in Cabot, and Route 15 between Walden and Cambridge are suggested. Also, try back roads in Burke, Peacham, Barnet and Danville, which offer a variety of close-up and long-range views. Bright foliage can be found along Route 232 along Groton State Forest, Route 2 west of Waterbury, Route 100 between Warren and Moretown, and Route 17 between Waitsfield and Starksboro. On the western side of central Vermont, Route 22A from Fair Haven to Shoreham, Route 73 from Rochester to Brandon, Route 140 from East Wallingford to Middletown Springs, Route 53 around Lake Dunmore, Route 30 from Castleton Corners to Whiting, and Route 7 between Danby and Rutland are showing good color. In southern Vermont, suggested drives include Route 7A from Manchester to Bennington, Routes 153 and 315 near Rupert, Route 5 along the Connecticut River, Route 5 between Brattleboro and Wilmington, Route 11 from Springfield to Londonderry, and Route 30 from Brattleboro to Newfane.The Vermont Hospitality Council advises making advance reservations because the most popular lodgings may fill early on busy weekends during the foliage season. Some innkeepers may require a minimum two-night stay, especially on busy weekends. Vermont tourism officials encourage visitors to take advantage of midweek specials during the foliage season as part of the statewide ‘Midweek Peek’ promotion. Deals range from discounted lodging to free Vermont products. For details, visit www.VermontVacation.com/midweek(link is external). Also available on the website are several tools for planning a Vermont Fall Foliage tour: Fall Foliage ForecasterLodging Availability ForecasterScenic DrivesFall Travel Tips For more information, visit www.VermontVacation.com(link is external).