Holyoke Pipeline Fight is On

In Holyoke, activists are fighting construction of a proposed fracked gas pipeline. “It would go six miles from Agawam to Holyoke,” Jacqueline Velez told the Valley Post in a telephone interview on September 13. She lives in Holyoke. “It would cost $24 million to build. Holyoke is the second worst city in the nation for people with asthma. This would make it worse. We closed the Mount Tom coal plant so we can stop this.”

Velez is urging the public to sign a petition available via www.n2nma.org, donate via the same web site, and attend a meeting about the pipeline fight on September 25 at 7 p.m. at 129 Main Street in Northampton.

The below photo shows Jacqueline Velez. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click “see full size image.” photo by Neighbor to Neighbor

Fracked gas causes climate change, which the world's leading scientists say is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life.

In the Valley in 2014 the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant closed permanently because hundreds of people were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience to demand politicians close it. In the Valley in 2017, nearly 100 people were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience to protest construction of a fracked gas pipeline in a state forest. The pipeline company paid state police about $1 million to arrest the protesters.

The 2017 protests were organized by a group that has a web site at www.SugarShackAlliance.org. Vivienne Simon is a spokeswoman for the group. On September 15, speaking of the proposed Holyoke pipeline, she told the Valley Post, "We hope to stop this before it gets to the point where civil disobedience is needed."

In other news from the Valley, the ACLU is fighting a plan by the state of Vermont to send 228 Vermonters to be incarcerated in a private prison in Mississippi. No nation keeps such a high percentage of its people in prison as the USA. Private prison corporations pay their CEOs millions of dollars a year and lobby politicians for harsher penalties for people found guilty of non-violent crimes like possession of drugs and prostitution.

In other news from the Valley, the head of the Keene parks department this month won an award for doing the best job out of all the people who run city parks departments in New Hampshire. One of Keene's best parks is the 130 acre Robin Hood Park, near downtown.

Robin Hood was a real person who lived about 800 years ago in a state forest in England. Hood is still famous for stealing from the rich and giving the money to the poor. Rick Cohen lives in Keene and is one of the richest people in the world. In 2013, he had a “net worth” of more than $11 billion, according to an article published that year in Bloomberg News. Millions of people die of starvation annually.

Two ways to spread the wealth are raising taxes on billionaires and joining and supporting unions.

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