Noon Rally to Save Democracy is August 10 in Springfield

On August 10 at noon, there will be a rally in Springfield to support a law that would help reduce the control that corporations have over politicians. The Fair Elections Now Act was introduced in the U.S. senate by senators Dick Durbin and Arlen Specter, and in the House by congressmen John Larson and Walter Jones, Jr. The bill would allow federal candidates to run for office without relying on big "donations" (also known as "bribes") from corporate lobbyists. The bill is supported by www.greenpeace.org and some of the nation's biggest labor unions, including www.afscme.org

August 24 Election Likely to Affect Valley Nuke's Future

The problem-plagued Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire. The outcome of primary elections on August 24 in Vermont are likely to have a major impact on whether Entergy, the Louisiana corporation that owns Vermont Yankee, will get permission to run the reactor until 2032. The Vermont senate voted in February to close Vermont Yankee in March 2012. But Entergy officials are trying to get the senate to reverse itself when the senate reconvenes in January.

August 10 Hearing on Better Buses for Keene, Brattleboro Region

On August 10, there will be a public hearing about a government plan to provide better local bus service in the Keene and Brattleboro region. The relevant buses will serve Keene; Claremont, NH; Putney, Vermont; and other towns.

The Southwest (NH) Region Planning Commission will hold the hearing at the Charlestown, NH public library at 226 Main Street from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

Traveling by bus or train, rather than by car, reduces global warming, suburban sprawl, acid rain, lung cancer, and other problems.

Who's Winning the Race to Build Out the Valley?

This month, the state of Vermont gave the all-volunteer run Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association $591,000 to buy land near Brattleboro. The Pinnacle is the highest and most scenic peak in Westminster, Vermont, near Brattleboro. From the Pinnacle you can see Stratton Mountain, more than 20 miles away. The Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association owns 1,662 acres in Rockingham, Athens, Brookline, and Westminster, all of which is open to the public. There is a 14 mile hiking trail and a wildlife sanctuary. Details are at www.windmillhillpinnacle.org

People Power Defeats Plan to Narrow Brattleboro's Downtown Sidewalks

Brattleboro residents defeated a plan by the administration of lame duck Republican governor Jim Douglas and lieutenant-governor Brian Dubie – the Republican who wants to be elected governor in November – that would have narrowed already-narrow sidewalks in downtown Brattleboro. The goal was to make cars, trucks, and SUVs drive faster through the world-famous, historic downtown on the shore of the Connecticut river. Dubie-Douglas also wanted to cut down trees on Main Street.

In Danger: Giant Park Near Keene, Brattleboro

Pisgah State Park, with thousands of acres, is the biggest state park in New Hampshire. It is in the town of Hinsdale, and two other towns. Hinsdale is directly across the river from Brattleboro. The following article was written by Jeffrey Scott and Marti Hobbes of the group Defenders of Pisgah. It was posted on a bulletin board at one of the entrances to the park on June 27. The only contact info provided for the group was:

P.O. Box 31
Spofford, NH 03462

In Greenfield, Thousands Say 'No Incinerator'

More than a third of some 11,000 eligible voters showed up to vote in Greenfield on June 8. They overwhelmingly vetoed the Greenfield mayor’s and city council’s support of plans by an incinerator corporation to build in Greenfield. The company is Madera Energy Corporation (MEC).

Janet Sinclair was a leader of the campaign against the incinerator. “This is a great victory,” she said.

An MEC spokesman said his company would seek to build an incinerator in Greenfield despite the will of the people.

In Keene, Activists Fight Motorcycle Corporations

Motorcycle noise is a problem every summer in the Valley, said Cliff Crowley. He is working to pass laws to limit the noise. He is a member of a national group, Noise Free America www.NoiseFree.org New Hampshire is one of the worst states for motorcycle noise. Keene has more motorcycles per capita than most cities in New Hampshire, according to the group.

Activists in Mississippi: 'Close Vermont Yankee!'

On May 7, members of Greenpeace went to Entergy Corporation’s annual shareholder meeting in Jackson, Mississippi. They told company officials to close Entergy's Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor in 2012. Vermont Yankee is in Vernon, Vermont. It's three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire.

Greenpeace spokesman Jarred Cobb told the Valley Post that, “The Vermont state senate voted in February 2010 to close Vermont Yankee in March 2012. The vote was 26-4. Entergy is ignoring the wishes of Vermonters.”

More information is at www.greenpeace.org

Photos: In Vermont, Thousands March for Single Payer Health Care

On May 1, thousands of people marched to the Vermont statehouse. "If Vermont passes single-payer health care, I will meet with President Obama and say, 'If Vermont can do this, so can the nation,'" U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders told the marchers. In the second photo, a blind man uses a cane while he marches.

Four of the five Democrats who are running for governor, including senate president Peter Shumlin of Putney (a few miles from Brattleboro) were at the march. Vermont votes Democratic more than almost any other state.