Reggae Singer from Jamaica to Play in 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 July 31 in Brattleboro. The concert will be at 8 p.m. at the Stone Church night club. Ticket prices are to-be-announced.

Some Valley Prisoners Freed Due to Coronavirus

No nation keeps such a high percentage of its people in prison as the USA. Europe's rate is a third of ours. Due to the coronavirus, the prosecutors in the counties that are home to Northampton and Brattleboro are releasing some prisoners. “I have released some due to coronavirus,” Tracy Shriver told the Valley Post in a phone interview on March 26. She is the prosecutor for Windham county, which includes Brattleboro. Shriver said she has freed “more than one and fewer than 100” people due to the epidemic.

Peace Rally Planned

Unless it's postponed due to coronavirus, there be a peace rally in Brattleboro on April 15. The rally will be outside 2 Main Street from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. With 4 percent of the world's population, the USA spends as much money on war as the rest of the world combined. This year the USA will spend $1.6 trillion on war. That's 47 percent of the federal budget, meaning about half your income taxes go to war. This data is from:

www.warresisters.org/sites/default/files/fy2021piechart.pdf

More information on the Brattleboro rally will be posted soon at:

Local News Round-up

In Holyoke on February 21 at 4 p.m. there will be a rally in solidarity with Native Americans in Canada who are fighting construction of a fracked gas pipeline. The rally will be at 12-6 Mt. Park Road. More information about the rally is available by calling Gia at (413) 512-1192. More information about the pipeline is on the web site of the tribe that's leading the fight to stop it:

www.wetsuweten.com/territory/pipelines

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For 12 Years Home Depot Has Sat Vacant

The Brattleboro Home Depot and its vast parking lot have been vacant for 12 years. On December 30, 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 ago, another Home Depot spokeswoman told the Valley Post the same thing.

On January 2, 2020, Brattleboro town manager Peter Elwell told the Valley Post he will not try to find a use for the building or parking lot.

Workers Win

Thanks to the labor movement, on January 1 the minimum wage will go up to $12.75 an hour in Massachusetts and $10.96 an hour in Vermont. The New Hampshire minimum wage will remain at $7.25. In the 1930s workers went on strike around the nation, forcing politicians to pass the first minimum wage laws. To this day, unions lobby to raise the minimum wage. One of the most active unions in the Pioneer Valley and Brattleboro has a web site at www.ufcw1459.com. New Hampshire unions have a web site at www.nhaflcio.org.

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Local News Round-up

On December 6 there will be two climate rallies. One is in Springfield at noon outside city hall. The other will be at 3:30 p.m. at the main entrance to Mount Holyoke College. The organizers of both rallies can be reached via www.facebook.com/SunriseSouthHadley.

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On December 1 in Keene there was a rally to impeach Trump. “There were around 30 people there,” Jim Murphy told the Valley Post. Pat Brady Martin told the Valley Post, “The music at the rally was great.”

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Rally to Oust Trump

In Brattleboro on November 3 there will be a rally to call on congress to remove Trump from office. Among his likely crimes are sexually assaulting women, failing to pay taxes -- Trump is a billionaire -- and using taxpayer money to bribe leaders of foreign nations to help Trump get re-elected. The rally starts at 2 p.m. at Pliny Park at the corner of Main and High streets. As of October 30 about 30 people had RSVP'd. Details are at:

www.facebook.com/events/2960179400874665

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16 More Protesters Arrested

Sixteen people were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience between August 22 and August 27 at Wendell Massachusetts State Forest near Greenfield, bringing the total number of arrests to 25 since August 6. The goal was to stop planned logging of 80 acres of 110 year old oak trees on publicly owned land.

The USA is losing 6,000 acres of open space to development every day. Stopping logging on publicly owned land forces logging companies to buy their own land. If the loggers want to grow new trees after logging, the land can't be paved.

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.