Reggae Singer from Jamaica to Play Near Brattleboro

When N.L. Dennis was singing in a recording studio with Toots and the Maytals, Bob Marley stopped by to listen. Marley praised Dennis's delivery. Today, Dennis lives in his native Jamaica and joins hundreds of Jamaicans who come to Vermont every summer in search of better paying work. Most of them work on vegetable farms and at apple orchards. Dennis works as a reggae musician. He will perform a public concert on September 1 near Brattleboro. The concert will be at 11 a.m. at the Putney, Vermont farmers' market. It's free.

Photo: Waterfall Newt

This photo was taken on August 18 in Dummerston, Vermont, which borders Brattleboro. It shows a red eft, which is a young newt, by the side of a waterfall. Red efts live on land for as many as eight years. Then they live underwater. This is the opposite of dragonflies, which first live underwater for up to two years, then fly.

Hampshire College May Pave Hundreds of Acres

The president of Hampshire College might sell some of the 800 acres of forestland and farmland the college owns so the land can be converted to parking lots, Walmarts, and/or similar sprawl. The land is in the neighboring towns of Amherst and Hadley. The Valley Post asked Kristin DeBoer, who runs the Kestrel Land Trust in Amherst, if her group will try to save the land. On July 30 she said, “Kestrel Land Trust works with willing landowners to find conservation alternatives to development in areas that have important natural resource values.

Activists Fight for Nature

On June 25 a group that is fighting planned logging on publicly owned land near Greenfield said the logging will likely start soon. “On June 24, the loggers began installing gates on Carlton Road and Dirth Road in Wendell (Massachusetts) State Forest. Installing the gates definitely means the beginning of logging,” said James Thornley, a spokesperson for the group. “Gates are not an independent, unrelated factor. The loggers are paying to have these gates installed — they would not spend this money if they were not about to commence cutting.”

200 at Rally

More than 200 people attended a rally in Northampton calling for raises for workers at the city's public schools. At Northampton public schools, starting pay for cafeteria workers is $11.64 an hour; for custodians it's $12.01. Teachers' pay is below the state average. The workers organized the rally. They have a web site at www.nasemta.org. The rally was on June 12.

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More than 100 people were at a Northampton rally on June 15 calling on congress to impeach Trump. The organizers have a web site at www.IndivisibleNoho.com.

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Local News Round-up

In Springfield, pedestrian rights activists had a win May 30 when construction started on a $4 million project. “It's hard to imagine an intersection that is less friendly to pedestrians,” Stacey Beuttell told the Valley Post on June 3. She works for Walk Boston, a group that, despite its name, works statewide to make walking safer. Beuttell said the Springfield project is a victory. The intersection that will be fixed is at the corner of Alden, Walnut, Hancock, and Ashley streets. The mayor says it will be done by the end of next year.

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450 at Abortion Rights Rallies

About 450 people attended rallies in Northampton and Brattleboro on May 21. The rallies were calling on politicians to guarantee women's right to safe, legal abortions. “We had a great turnout,” Debby Pastrich-Klemer told the Valley Post. She was the MC at the Northampton rally. About 300 people were there, Pastrich-Klemer said.

10 Arrested for Civil Disobedience

Two students at Keene State College were among a group of 10 people who were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience at the New Hampshire statehouse. They were protesting a Republican effort to make it harder for people to vote. “It went really well,” Robby St. Laurent told the Valley Post in a telephone interview. He is one of the Keene students. The other was Jackson Brannen. In a phone interview Brannen told the Valley Post. “There were over 100 people there supporting us. It was a powerful moment. We want Governor Sununu to sign House Bill 106.” The arrests happened on May 7.

Critical Mass is May 17

Critical Mass bicycle rides started in 1992 in California and have since spread around the world. Hundreds of people ride together in a group on roads, forcing cars to go at bicycle speed. They often chant, “Critical Mass, don't use gas!”

On May 17 there will be a Critical Mass bike ride in Brattleboro. The ride starts at 6 p.m. at the town common. The goal is to get politicians to deal with climate change, which the world's leading scientists say is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life. Details about the ride are at:

www.facebook.com/events/2144426155641240

Workers Win

Hundreds of Stop and Shop workers in the Pioneer Valley went on strike and won. The strike started on April 11. On April 22, the strikers went back to work, victorious. One of the main reasons for the strike was low wages. The workers have a web site at www.ufcw1459.com.