Vermont Nears Passage of Single-Payer Health Care; Rally May 1

In what could be a model for Massachusetts, New Hampshire and the nation, Vermont is poised to enact single-payer health care. A march and rally that will be held on May 1 in Montpelier is part of a mass movement that has earned the support of Vermont governor Peter Shumlin, and the state legislature. Shumlin lives in Putney, near Brattleboro. The insurance industry is working to kill the movement's momentum in the legislature.

600 at Vermont Yankee Protest Vigil

More than 600 people attended a protest vigil at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant near Brattleboro and Greenfield on March 20. The action was organized by "NRC" usually stands for Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the federal agency that has more than 1,000 employees and gets 98 percent of its money from the industry it regulates. There are 104 reactors at 65 locations in the U.S. Closing one of them would result in lay-offs at the NRC. More information on Vermont Yankee is at

Japan Quake Puts Valley Nuke in Local Spotlight

The massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 12 created a still-evolving disaster at several of Japan's nuclear power plants. Meanwhile, the Louisiana company that owns the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is trying to get permission from the government to run the 40 year old reactor until at least 2032. Vermont Yankee is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire.

Fight Over Valley Nuke Rages

Twelve months ago, the Vermont senate voted to permanently close the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. The New York Times published several long articles about the vote, which, the newspaper suggested, would mean the reactor’s owner, Entergy Corporation of Louisiana, would be required to close Vermont Yankee in March 2012. In the weeks after the vote, activists who had worked for decades to close Vermont Yankee celebrated. There were at least two victory parties in Brattleboro, one of which was attended by about 200 people, including Peter Shumlin.

Nine Women Arrested in Protest at Valley Nuke

On January 1, nine women were arrested at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant for non-violent civil disobedience. They were calling for the reactor to be closed immediately. Yankee is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire.

The nine arrested were Vermonters Julia Bonafine of Shrewsbury, Martha Hennessy of Weathersfield, Robin Lloyd of Burlington, and Nina Swaim of Sharon, and Massachusetts residents Frances Crowe of Northampton, Marcia Gagliardi of Athol, Ellen Graves of West Springfield, Hattie Nestel of Athol, and Paki Wieland of Northampton.

Public Urged to Oppose Power Plant in Springfield

An appointee of Governor Deval Patrick announced recently that the state will not require a company that wants to build a wood incinerator and power plant in Springfield to submit an environmental impact report. The decision was made by Ian Bowles, secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

“During the campaign for governor, Patrick said he was against the big biomass incinerators. (Weeks after the election) he rolls out the red carpet for a big biomass incinerator,” said Chris Matera of Massachusetts Forest Watch on November 22.

Logging or Wilderness: Public Hearing Nov. 16

Members of a local environmental group are urging the public to attend a public hearing on November 16 near Springfield about whether Massachusetts state-owned forest land should be logged or kept as wilderness. Forest Watch members say people should speak out in favor of wilderness at the 6:30 p.m. meeting with representatives of Governor Deval Patrick at 380 Southampton Road in Westfield.

Oct. 22 Noon March Against Police Brutality in Springfield

On October 22 at noon there will be a march to the Springfield police department to protest police brutality in Springfield. That day there will also be a conference on how to fix a variety of problems with police. The conference will be from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Basilica of the Holy Apostle at 339 State Street in Springfield. The march and conference are being organized by the Community Coalition for Justice.

Seven Arrested in Protest

Seven women were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant on September 21. The reactor is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire.

The protesters were Nina Swaim of Sharon, Vermont; Martha Hennessey of Weathersfield, Vermont; Paki Wieland and Frances Crowe, both from Northampton; Hattie Nestel and Marcia Gagliardi from Athol, Massachusetts; and Ellen Graves from West Springfield, Massachusetts.

Nov. 2 Election Likely to Influence Future of Valley Nuke

The decision by voters in the November 2 governor's race in Vermont will likely affect the future of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Yankee is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire.

A serious accident or act of sabotage at the reactor would kill thousands of people and leave hundreds of square miles of land uninhabitable.