The 200 or so nurses at the Greenfield hospital voted by a 93 percent margin to authorize a strike. This gives their elected union leaders the power to call a strike if current contract negotiations fail. The next bargaining session is set for March 27, Joe Markham told the Valley Post on March 21. He works for the nurses' union, which has a web site at www.MassNurses.org.
A risky procedure is planned for this spring at a nuclear waste dump in Vermont that's three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire. If the operation goes wrong, thousands of people could be killed.
In Greenfield, nurses are asking the public to join them at a rally for justice on March 9 at 4:30 p.m. The event will be at the town common. The nurses work at the Greenfield hospital, now known as Baystate Franklin Medical Center. They are members of a union, the Massachusetts Nurses Association, which is organizing the rally. The workers want fewer patients per nurse, and better wages and benefits.
Billionaires have been getting richer in recent years, as the middle class has gotten smaller, and the ranks of the poor have swelled. But workers in Greenfield are reversing that trend. “We won a good union contract,” John Cevasco told the Valley Post on December 10. He has worked at a grocery store, Green Fields Market, for more than 16 years. About 75 workers at the store, and at a smaller subsidiary in nearby Shelburne Falls, formed a union in 2012.
Activists on August 24 permanently protected 139 acres of forestland in Royalston, Massachusetts. Royalston is near Greenfield and Keene. The land includes several ponds. “Canoeing across this sheltered wetland is a dramatic experience,” said David Kotker. He works for the land trust that saved the land. It has a web site at www.MountGrace.org. “No signs of human habitation are visible.” Among the animals that live there are beavers, a breeding pair of bald eagles, and a rare juvenile golden eagle. A photo of the land is below.
These photos show rallies for peace and the environment. The first photo was taken in Greenfield on July 6. It shows Linda Owen of Brattleboro. Her sign refers to the Canadian town of Lac-Mégantic where three years ago a freight train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded, killing 47 people. Similar trains travel through Greenfield, said rally organizer Tim Stevenson of the group Post Oil Solutions www.PostOilSolutions.org.
The Sierra Leone All-Stars performed an excellent concert near Greenfield on June 25. It was at the Shea Theater in Turner's Falls, Massachusetts. The dance floor was full. The band has recorded several excellent albums. Most of the songs on the albums are Afro-Pop or “high life” style. Some are reggae.
Lead singer Ruben Koroma asked, "Our country, Sierra Leone, is rich in minerals. Why are our people in poverty?"
About 450 people took part in a four-day march to stop a proposed fracked gas pipeline. The event ended March 20 in Northfield, Massachusetts, near Greenfield. Twenty people walked the entire 53 mile route. Fracked gas causes climate change, which the world's leading scientists say is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life. The march organizers have a web site:
More information about the pipeline is at:
To enlarge a photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full size image."
A four day march to stop a proposed fracked gas pipeline starts March 17. The march will start about 30 miles west of Northampton, in Windsor, Massachusetts. It ends near Greenfield in Northfield, Massachusetts. The public is invited to attend part or all of the 53 mile march. Organizers are offering free food and places to sleep for the marchers. They are also seeking donations.
The march has been endorsed by www.350.org. More information about the pipeline is at www.NoFrackedGasInMass.org.
As of February 23, the march Facebook page said 37 people were planning to attend:
On February 15 in Greenfield there will be a march and rally to stop a proposed fracked gas pipeline. The public is invited. The march starts at 10 a.m. at Greenfield Community College's East Building. It will go to 40 Mill Street for a 15 minute rally. Then the march will continue to 43 Silver Street, where there will be a lunch with speeches by Northampton lawyer Tom Lesser and others.
The march is being organized by Hattie Nestel. She organized a march last month that was attended by about 300 people. Photos are at: