Local News Roundup

The 200 or so nurses at the Greenfield hospital will go on strike on June 26 unless management agrees to stop assigning so many patients to each nurse that it is impossible to provide good quality health care. The nurses want the hospital to hire more nurses. The nurses also want better health insurance for themselves.

Donna Stern is a nurse at the hospital. She said, "When nurses are forced against their will to work extra hours or entire shifts, simply because the hospital has refused to hire enough staff to cover all available shifts, nurses are exhausted and more prone to make errors in care. Nurses also can’t tell their families when they’ll be home, or when they’ll have a day off.”

The nurses have a web site at www.MassNurses.org.

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In Springfield on June 19, there will be a rally to make Amtrak faster, more frequent, and cheaper between Springfield and Boston. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Amtrak station at 66 Lyman Street. Details are at www.facebook.com/events/642575185942431

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The Vermont state capitol is the starting point for a 13 mile march calling on Ben and Jerry's ice cream corporation to treat its Latino farm workers in Vermont fairly. The march starts on June 17 at 7 a.m. It ends at the company's headquarters. As of June 14, nearly 100 people had RSVP'd on Facebook.

Organizers say many of the workers at the farms where the milk used by Ben and Jerry's is from are paid below minimum wage. Ben and Jerry's is owned by Unilever Corporation, which also owns Vaseline, “I Can't Believe It's Not Butter,” and other companies. The CEO of Unilever was paid $9 million last year. Ben and Jerry's is not organic.

Amtrak between Brattleboro and the Vermont capitol in Montpelier costs $18 one-way. It takes two hours and 31 minutes. Driving takes one hour and 49 minutes, according to Google Maps. Marita Canedo is one of the organizers of the march. She told the Valley Post that people can contact the Brattleboro-based Root Social Justice Center about possible car-pooling opportunities. The Root has a web site at www.TheRootSJC.org. Details about the march are at www.MigrantJustice.net.

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In Keene on June 15, there will be a rally calling on politicians to pass laws stopping pollution, especially the kind that causes climate change. The rally starts at 6 p.m. at Central Square. Details are at www.facebook.com/events/1725990304366965

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The town of Belchertown, Massachusetts borders Amherst. On June 17 at noon on the Belchertown Common, there will be a rally against racism. On the same day, former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio will speak in Belchertown. He is nationally known for illegally harassing Latinos. He was voted out of office last year. More information about the rally against racism is at www.facebook.com/events/1732880690345579

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