330 Rally

In Northampton, about 300 people attended a rally to call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, the organizers told the Valley Post. The organizers have a web site at www.jvp.org. The rally was on February 4. On February 6 in Springfield, about 30 doctors, nurses and other health workers held a rally for the same cause. They delivered a letter signed by about 200 local health workers to congressman Richard Neal's office.

In Brattleboro, a rally for the same cause was set for February 10 at noon outside the main post office. The organizers are available via SOVT4PALESTINE@gmail.com. A group that's promoting the rally has a web page at:

https://grassrootsfund.org/groups/upper-valley-action-affinity-group

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On February 7 the Brattleboro town manager, John Potter, told the Valley Post that his staff will come up with a plan for vacant buildings in town, such as the Home Depot that has been vacant for 16 years, by May 2024 “at the earliest.”

Last summer, dozens of homeless people slept outside in tents in one of the rainiest summers ever. In 2022, Easthampton, Massachusetts passed a fee on vacant commercial buildings.

In 2019 Home Depot spokeswoman Margaret Watters Smith told the Valley Post her company would like to find someone to rent the building and parking lot. Years before that, another Home Depot spokeswoman told the Valley Post the same thing.

In Mashpee, Massachusetts a vacant big box store and its parking lot were converted to a neighborhood that looks like downtown Northampton, with wide sidewalks, parks, small stores downstairs, and apartments upstairs. In Texas, a vacant big box store was turned into a library. In Detroit in recent years, thousands of vacant buildings were turned back into farmland, parks, and forestland.

Planting trees and letting them grow to old age is one of the best ways to stop climate change, which the world's leading scientists say is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life.

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